AMK Group, the crew behind Bucktown’s AMK Kitchen, is opening a street food–inspired pop-up in the former Vivo space on Randolph Row in late July. Nosh & Booze (838 W. Randolph St., West Loop, 312-733-3379) will serve up gourmet American street fare and craft cocktails till the end of the year. Come 2017, the space will be gutted for a new, permanent restaurant concept slated to open next summer.
“Instead of just operating Vivo until we closed for construction, we wanted to have a bit of fun and to make food that we really loved while we prepped the space for our next concept,” says AMK partner Steven Tsonis. Vivo closed on July 3.
Executive chef Barney Smith (AMK Kitchen) plans to periodically update the menu as the seasons and dish popularity dictate, but expect American favorites “with an edge,” such as pimiento cheeseburgers, fried chicken, tamales, and funnel cake. Beverage director (and fellow AMK Kitchen vet) Jon Ruiz’s drink menu will be centered on a highball program with four spirits and weekly changing craft sodas; along with a global, food-friendly wine list; and a focused beer menu.
“With items changing weekly, I wanted to give visitors a sense they’ll always be discovering new wine, beers, and spirits that they haven’t tried before,” Ruiz says.
While the casual, no-reservations Nosh & Booze is in residence, the space will structurally continue to look like Vivo, albeit dressed in new furniture, artwork, and lighting.
Next year it will be renovated in a vintage style to make way for the new concept, which will “play into the history of Chicago and the early food boom of the 19th century,” Tsonis says.
Till then, there’ll be plenty to nosh on.