There's a new tavern with a Chicago vibe coming to University Park: Called D.L. Mack's, it's a new concept from Vandelay Hospitality Group, home to popular restaurants such as East Hampton Sandwich Co., Hudson House, and Lucky's Hot Chicken.
D.L. Mack's will be a classic American tavern, located at 6501 Hillcrest Ave. in a space previously occupied by Biscuit Bar; according to a spokesperson, it'll open in early fall.
The tavern will embrace some of the signature traits of sibling Vandelay concepts; namely, the family-friendly feeling of Hudson House, their New York-inspired neighborhood restaurant, and the timeless warmth of Drake's Hollywood, their old-school classic steakhouse.
The menu will feature classic American dishes with a Windy-City theme. The centerpiece: their Chicago-style cracker crust pizza, which has become a favorite at Drake's Hollywood, as well as martinis, which are a Vandelay motif.
Decor will echo the Chicago vibe with a brownstone theme, including reclaimed wood floors, green checkered tile, wooden blinds, and antique windowpanes. Every design element is a mid-century relic including a 1960's theater exit sign and a decades-old double-faced train station clock.
The space will also include a garden patio with retractable roof, plus 16 tables with wooden benches inspired by the Chicago Transit Authority.
D.L. Mack's represents the sixth concept from Vandelay, which has a track record of introducing unique concepts they tailor according to the specific location. In a statement, Jon Peck, Senior VP of Operations says they'll continue that approach, with several new locations and concepts coming in 2021.
"Our creative team is always designing new restaurant concepts – most of which sit, awaiting the perfect piece of property that will allow us to knock a concept out of the park," Peck says. "The D.L. Mack’s concept has been in the works for well over two years, and when the Hillcrest space in University Park became available, we knew the story would write itself for a brand we have been obsessed with for a very long time at VHG."