SideDoor represents a significant departure from the formality that has characterized the McCormick Mansion’s long history. The River North gastropub brings a fresh, casual vibe to the venerable building very much in keeping with the neighborhood’s new vitality.
Our name comes from the newly built Rush Street entrance, the first change in the building’s exterior in nearly a quarter century. Arriving guests find a cozy bar that opens into an inviting room with comfortable lounge seating, tufted leather banquettes, an intimate nook and communal spaces.
During the transformation of what was once a formal dining space into today’s gastropub, we discovered a long forgotten fireplace as well as three of the original decorative stone columns that flanked the turn-of-the-century Mansion’s outside windows. Fortunately, we were able to preserve and incorporate the columns into SideDoor’s design. These, along with fine wood millwork, two portraits from the late 1800s (modified ever so slightly…), the marble mosaic floor and some antique artifacts, echo the past. At the same time, subdued lighting, a modern open “display” kitchen, with its copper hooded grill, along with the sounds of American jazz, blues and rock combine to bring the room solidly into the 21st century.
At SideDoor, we’ve taken the gastropub concept that started in England and made it our own. We’ve drawn on 75 years of Lawry’s experience and knowledge of beef and hospitality. For 40 of those years, the nationally known Chicago fine dining legend, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, has been located in the same renowned architectural landmark that is home to SideDoor. Local and regional purveyors supply us with the best in food and drink from the Midwest as we raise ordinary pub fare to the next level. We think you’ll agree SideDoor is truly an American-style gastropub.