The guys who make dining on Michigan Avenue acceptable for locals (thanks to refreshingly non-touristy spots the Gage and Acanto) are poised to work similar magic along the Chicago River when they open Beacon Tavern (405 N. Wabash Ave., River North) in April.
Tireless restaurateur Billy Lawless and chef/partner Chris Gawronski have enlisted executive chef Bob Broskey (Intro, L2O) to create a seafood-heavy roster of eats, including honey-brown mussels, a spicy fried redfish sandwich, and fish and chips made from dover sole. Fried chicken with hot honey sauce and a Taleggio cheeseburger with sweet-and-sour pickles should hold over the fish-averse.
Lawless promises a convivial bar area with nearly 50 wines by the bottle and eight beer taps. Similarly to the Gage and Acanto, locals won’t necessarily feel outnumbered—or outpriced, with most mains hovering around the $25 mark and daily happy hour deals on drinks and appetizers.
As for the décor, expect distressed leather with weathered and beaten millwork. “Beaten and weathered like me—with a touch of refinement,” says Lawless.