Chicago Chop Shop Caters To Your Raw Beef Rock Star Lifestyle

The slated-for-summer butcher shop, restaurant, and performance space brings some disparate fields together.

rendering courtesy chop shop

Specializing in hot music and strip steaks (rather than hot cars, stripped), Chicago Chop Shop (2033 W. North Ave., no phone yet) is on track for a July opening near the Milwaukee-North-Damen nexus that people have recently taken to calling Six Corners.

On the site of a former auto-body shop, Chicago Chop Shop will combine a full retail butcher shop, a bar/restaurant, and a performance venue under one roof. The venue, called 1st Ward, is planned to be walled off from the rest.

Under the cleaver of Mario Minelli, a third-generation butcher, the butcher shop will sell steaks and chops as well as family-recipe sausages and meatballs. Counter-service sandwiches, salads, and antipasto will be available until 8 p.m., à la Publican Quality Meats. After 5 p.m., table service and a full restaurant menu emerge to supplement the counter. The owners hope the on-site butcher can spark crossover business as well as eliminating a supply-chain step.

“If someone says, ‘This filet is amazing,’ they will know they can also walk out with a filet to take home and grill,” says Nick Moretti, a partner.

The owners say they hope to stage a wide range of events in the venue. “[It’s] a place to showcase all the things that we love: art, film, music,” says Matt Woodburn, a longtime events producer.

On the drink side, RedEye reports: 

Ty Fujimara of Arami and former bar The Exchange is helping develop the restaurant’s menu, including a drink list that will include wine, sake and locally sourced brews and sprits. The team is looking into having a growler-filling station and carrying an exclusive spirit from a Chicago-area distillery. “We love our spirits and we think it would be really cool to create some kind of custom blend,” co-owner Matt Woodburn said.

Sounds like they’re using all the parts of their experience and all the parts of their building, just like that old saw about efficient butchery.

Maybe if they go way into avant-garde performance art, they’ll find a use for the oink, too.

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