Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Scout to Officially Open on August 20th

A special hat tip to Sloopin contributor, Dick McFiddle for the write up for the Scout:

My visit to The Scout left me in a state of intrigue and excitement. I met with the managing partner Chris Bravos and his excellent managers and staff last week to discuss the upcoming opening.

Chris, a self-described fan of music, food and drink envisioned with his business partners a multipurpose venue for the former Jerry Kleiner-operated Opera space at Wabash and 13th street. Chicago born and raised, turned current sloop resident aims to provide a place for the Sloop’s residents to enjoy a menu of comfort eats for the foodie and average slooper alike. Highlights include a bacon-wrapped meatloaf and several slow-cooked meat selections. Vegetarians will enjoy the elaborate salads offered.

The Scout’s rustic and cozy d├ęcor is derived from reclaimed wood (walnut, pine, and oak), brick, stone, copper and polished brass, a design crafted by the ownership team which included Jeff Wolff, of Wolff-Hager
Contracting and Development. Of note, an old lake Michigan pier’s wood was used to build the wall behind the back bar.

With 3 private party areas, 2 bars and 34 televisions, The Scout sets its sights on accommodating a wide-breadth of customers with multiple interests. The front of the restaurant/pub will host a sit down; people-watching scene while the back will have a DJ late night playing a wide-spectrum of music, selected specifically for the mood of the crowd at hand. Did I mention all Blackhawks, Bulls, and Bears games will have the volume on?

Upscale tavern and sports bar. Amazing service. Late night sing-alongs. Fair prices. A menu meant to excite all with thoughts of nostalgic, comfort food (um..a 14” grilled cheese with a tomato soup dip???? Yes, please), craft cocktails and craft beer, and a solid selection of wines from some of our favorite regions.

–We’ve been promised a lot… but these guys have an insider, a slooper, someone who knows what this neighborhood needs, and he’s brought in a crew of talented people he trusts to get the job done. After our sit down and tour of the place, I think they’re going to pull it off. See you there late night…

Official opening August 20th. Soft opening sometime within the week before.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

the guys guarding whatever private Lolla party that happened there over the weekend said it would be open today (Wed 10th). maybe worth a looksy tonight?

Anonymous said...

i heard from several Scout employees that the bar will be open to the public today, 8/10.

Anonymous said...

Outdoor seating?

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced sloopy has a stake in this business. Why all the constant hype/blogging/posts/updates over one restaurant? What is this, Maybury or Chicago?

Gina P said...

Their website says they are opening today the 10th as well.

Sloopy said...

anon 9:25 - I wish I had a stake in this...

We're just excited about the restaurant/concept. We also know that there has been a lot of interest from Sloopin readers (judging by emails and comments).

SloopyLoop said...

It's a new place in the area. The blog covers the area.

Even if the blog were written by the head chef, are you coming here for hard hitting, fair and balanced, unbiased news on the Sloop?

So, yeah. Relax.

SloopyLoop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

I'm generally pumped about new restaurants opening in the area. But frankly, this looks like a slightly upscale but still typical-douchey sports bar. Like Jimmy Greens with pork belly on the menu.

Hope I'm wrong!

Anonymous said...

Scout is not another "douchy" bar. It looks similar to Boundary (in bucktown), Public House (in River North), etc. Upscale but sporty. Something not seen in the Sloop. Weathermark is downtrodden and covers some less-than-mainstream sports. Flo and Santos is uninspired and small. This is some high investment in a sloop bar/restaurant, which hasn't been seen in not only months but probably years, and it hits a uniqiue spot that lots of people can relate to - it's nice enough to have dinner w/ the spouse, yet sporty enough to watch the bears on Sunday with the hungover college buddies.

Anonymous said...

Nice. Looking forward to it and hope date is not postponed. Want to make use of their outdoor seating as long as summer lasts.

Does anyone have an update on Waffles, btw? I heard opening dates of 06/29 and 07/17 and the place is still closed. With all those successful & crowded brunch spots in the Sloop, it would be a welcoming addition as well.

Jeff said...

"...it's nice enough to have dinner w/ the spouse, yet sporty enough to watch the bears on Sunday with the hungover college buddies."

That's pretty much a great description of a slightly upscale but still typical-douchey sports bar. And how do you know with such certainty what it is exactly? It hasn't even opened yet. Don't you think it bears some resemblance to Jimmy Greens, which is only a few blocks away? And there was (still may be) another giant sports bar with cut stone and wood finishes somewhere around 17th-20th on State I believe.

I'm happy you're psyched about this, but it looks to me like yet another crash place for suburbanites on their way to the Bears game.

Tabitha said...

I was there on Saturday and the food was good, drink menu was great and service was excellent. I'm really excited it'll be around the corner from me.

Matt said...

Let me start by saying that I couldnt be happier about this place opening up. When we have more diversity and volume in our dining and entertainment options, our neighborhood will be better recognized as a place to live, where you don't to take a car, train or bus sompleplace else to have a good time. I love what we have now and I have been a very happy SL resident for almost a decade, and this is a great addition to further improve our home and supplement the great places that SL residents have enjoyed for a long time.

Anon 11:12: Boudary and Public House...? Douchy as hell. Have you ever been at either place past 6:30? That being said, I'll be at The Scout regularly until it reaches that point, which will probably take more than a year.

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt-

Perhaps you're the problem.

Anon that thinks Boundary and Public House are great places.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Cool

I didn't say the crowd would be like Boundary and Public House...I said the bar looks like those places.

Anon11:12

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the city will properly repave Wabash from Roosevelt to 14th St soon once construction is over; then that Wabash corridor will look much more sharp. If only the Ole Hardwood space and the empty lots just south of it could be filled...

Anonymous said...

I love how you guys just throw around "douchy." Do you even know what it means? If you actually did, then the majority of the SL male community would be labeled this term. For those who don't know, "douchy" refers to "bro" types (e.g. former frat brothers, guys who wear printed t-shirts). I live in the south loop and I encounter these guys all the time.

MarkChicago said...

@ Jeff.

Stay home, you and your gf Daria feed your pet snake and/or tarantula.


Scout is open!!! Looks awesome.

Matt said...

Anon 12:45 -

I have no doubt that this could very well could be the case.

I didnt say I dont go to these places though, or even that I dont like them. But they are douchy, and they cant hide from that fact. I just cant go to them regularly once they hit that point.

Anonymous said...

Matt-

You are a loser.

Regards
Everyone

Anonymous said...

I just hope there are enough TVs so I don't have to ever look my companions in the eye.

Anonymous said...

Everyone- you take yourself too seriously.

- No one

Anonymous said...

I love their turtle soup

BRENDAN said...

matt

was there last night for one beer with friends to look around and this place isnt a college bar or douchey. Its very upscale and caters to a refined crowd. tht said, i'm not sure what it is exactly that people DO want in the south loop as an entertainment option? Struggling to figure that out...

Jeff said...

I don't get the Daria/snake/tarantula thing directed at me, but I'm assuming it's some kind of put down.

Yes, I'm basing my guess about this place based on looking in the windows and reading stuff online, and I even said I hope to be wrong about my assessment. But everyone else here is pretty much basing opinions on similar info. The place isn't even open yet.

Funny how any criticism of this place immediately results in ad hominem attacks. Pretty douchey behavior if you ask me!

I just think there's already enough venues in the neighborhood full of flat screen TVs pumping out sports. Jimmy Greens, Kasey's, Weather Mark, Bar Louie, etc. People are describing it as "upscale" but really, it's another sports bar with some nice finishes. And it looks like it would be right at home in Shaumburg. My douchey comment wasn't referring to so-called "bros" as mentioned upthread. I'm talking more about a vanilla suburban TV sports bar with a fireplace kind of crowd.

I just don't see it as anything special. I'm sure I'll try it. I'm sure it'll be competent. But it's not going to be a destination place or anything interesting.

Again - I'll be happy to be wrong!

Anonymous said...

"The place isn't even open yet."

So why throw around derogatory slurs? Why welcome new business in such a negative way?

MarkChicago said...

Jeff, your negativity is killing me. A bar without TV's is called a club. Clubs are "douchy".

To be a mile from Soldier Field and not appeal to the sports fan would be the worst move any bar in the area could make.

Anonymous said...

I was there last night, great time, great place, great food. I didn't see any douchey bro's.. but then again, Jeff hasn't been there yet.

Jeff said...

Read what I've written.

I'm not expecting "bros," I simply think the place is a better fit for the suburbs and will be a boring, vanilla piece of sport-venue-tainment catering to a crowd that already has several sport-venue-tainment options within walking distance of this spot.

They're going for a restaurant as well as a bar, so the "club" comment is bizarre. Opera thrived in the neighborhood for years without dozens of flat screen TVs and ESPN on the sound system. Just because it's near Soldier Field doesn't mean it has to be a sports bar.

I wish them well, and think it's a decent business proposition for the owners and investors, but it's a vanilla-boring addition to a neighborhood that could use better options.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, what type of bar/restaurant/establishment would excite you?

Please give an example of other places in the city...

Jeff said...

"Jeff, what type of bar/restaurant/establishment would excite you?

Please give an example of other places in the city..."

A Spanish restaurant. A Korean BBQ. A French restaurant. A fine dining Chinese restaurant. A Caribbean restaurant. A fine seafood restaurant. Etc.

Something that isn't another sports bar. I get what some of you are saying... it's more "upscale" than Kasey's or South Loop Club. But it pretty clearly is a vanilla sports bar that looks like it could be pulled right out of Oakbrook Mall.

I'm not even being that negative, really. I've said it will likely be competent and a good business proposition.

But what exactly is so appealing about this place?

Anonymous said...

If Sloop or Sloopin had a stake in the business perhaps they would have posted the article a week ago like everyone else. They had a press viewing last Thursday. Based on information given at that viewing, the grand opening is the 19th and 20th with the soft opening on the 10th, yesterday.

SloopyLoop said...

What is so difficult about this? If you're not interested on principle, don't go.

If you are interested, go check it out. If you like it, tell your friends and go back. If you don't like it, tell your friends and don't go back.

Why is this an argument about "cool points?"

Anonymous said...

One take on the crowd: “High-rise dwellers, first-time condo buyers, newlyweds, XSport members"

http://www.chicagomag.com/Radar/The-Chaser/August-2011/Me-and-You-and-Everyone-We-Know-South-Loops-The-Scout-Is-Crowded-Already/

I, for one, am really excited and encouraged by this place. This is a big time opening and a strong vote of confidence in the Sloop's come up.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

I don't want to be around you.

Regards,
Society

Anonymous said...

Isn't this place just a replica of Kroll's? Thus, we should deem it "another" upscale sports bar within walking distance to soldier field.
As for "what do I want instead"?: I'd love to see an upscale coffee shop or a bagel shop (like Einsteins) or sushi bar or ANY type of commercial outlet (since we have zero in this hood) or, my preference, a steakhouse.

And those of you who don't think this place isn't going to cater to and attract the fratboy/trixie crowd, then you must be brand new to chicago. All of these types of places cater to the fratboy/trixie crowd. The crowds at these types of places (notice how I said "the crowd," not the establishment) is why I moved to the sloop from Lakeview in the first place!

Anonymous said...

"Isn't this place just a replica of Kroll's? Thus, we should deem it "another" upscale sports bar within walking distance to soldier field. "

Yea, but the food sucks at Krolls. If The Scout serves a good burger I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

So I think we have learned two things from this Blog. Dont hate on The Scout and dont hate on Trader Joes.

Trader Joes, sucks!

Jeff said...

Kroll's- that's the place I was thinking of. Yes, Scout looks pretty much exactly like Kroll's. And it has the same selling points as Bar Louie, Jimmy Greens, Dave and Buster's, Hooters, etc, etc.

I'm guessing the personal attacks I'm getting here are from Scout owners/employees/cronies. Well, enjoy your restaurant jobs, guys.

Again, I don't get what's so appealing about this place. They put the ketchup in a little metal dish instead of plastic packets? You can get Bud Light and Goose Island on tap?

It's a suburban sports bar in the South Loop. Another option for burgers. Yippee!

slew said...

Personal attacks aside, Jeff, what I can't figure out is why *any* South Loop homeowner would discourage the idea of a successful business, whatever it may be. Not only do I hope its good for my personal dining/drinking sake, but I fully hope it brings people to the hood (even, dare it be said, bros?) We need to increase positive foot traffic in the area, so I could care less if its a Korean BBQ for a sports bar. All comers all welcome, and we sure as hell aren't going to get the more "speciality" locations on your wishlist without drawing significant crowds from other areas of the city. Baby steps Jeff, baby steps. Though, from your comments here, I'm not sure you understand the basic economic principles of neighborhood building.

BRENDAN said...

Jeff I dont work at The Scout but I still think youre a disturbing fellow.

By now I have assumed you have gotten a general understanding that not many people agree with what you think.... So logically speaking I would only have to assume that we wont be reading anymore of your negative/slanderous drivle. Seriously, if you keep posting you are basically revealing yourself as a troll.

MarkChicago said...

A restaurant snob taking a jab at restaurant employees?

Jeff, your smug opinions and piss-poor attitude are a toxic combo.

Jeff said...

Wait a minute.

This was the location of a well regarded restaurant for many years. It's not like it was an empty lot and I'm decrying urban renewal. Of course I want businesses in the neighborhood.

All I'm saying is that Opera is gone and is being replaced by a suburban style sports bar, and I don't think that's a net positive for the neighborhood in every respect. Yes, it's better than an empty building. I even said I'll probably go check it out. But really, it's a suburban style sports bar... nothing interesting, exciting or different about it at all.

People can disagree about things. I had no idea people would get this worked up about a sports bar.

slew said...

But you see, that's the point of neighborhood development. Opera was no longer drawing traffic to the Sloop. This new concept will -- the concept and execution is just the kind of magnet that has worked in other hoods for years. You're perfectly entitled to your wishlist, but I'm more interested in quick wins and positive press for the Sloop than I am in a (likely to fail in this economic climate) niche restaurant. Its just simple finance and marketing.

BRENDAN said...

I had no idea someone could say "suburban sports bar" so many times in one blog entry. I also had no idea someone could whine so much about a great new spot. You say there isnt anything unique about the place....wrong. You sure do know alot about this place for someone who hasnt been there.

You should move to rockford...lots of korean BBQ stops up there for you. Werent you kind of , sort of, leaving and not coming back to this blog?

Anonymous said...

Went their last night and the menu and drinks were spot on but the place is very douchey. How I define douchey is the place is filled younger twenty year old dudes with backward baseball caps doing bombs and a dj spins house music. Yuck!

Anonymous said...

Please don't tell me there is a DJ spinning house music every night. I was so looking forward to trying this place until you said that.

Anonymous said...

Was there last night , didn't hear any house music. Mussels were really good

Anonymous said...

Just read in Crain's Chicago Business that the City Winery which was going to open in old Carson Pierre Scott building is looking for new locations because the new Target ended up taking up too much space in that building.

The article further states that City Winery owners are looking at buying an entire building, preferably an old warehouse, to develop their concept. Unfortunately, they are only looking for space in West Loop, Bucktown, Wicker Park area. This is ashame because we have sooooooooo many of these types of buildings in the south loop, especially along motor row, which would be absolutely perfect for this concept. This is further proof that commercial entrepreneurs are clearly turning a blind eye to the south loop.

tayiah said...

I don't want to sound like debbie downer but I'm just not excited about another sports bar in our nabe. I feel we already have many options in this area. I will check it out and hopefully my mind will change.

Anonymous said...

I was there last Wed and I am very excited to have this place in the neighborhood. The food was great, the beer selection a mix of traditional and adventurous and they had the white sox game, cubs game, and USA vs MEX on with TV's to spare. The place gets the details right from drink ledges on the pillars to the mirror on the way to the bathrooms to the amount of tables (i.e. there is actually walking space between them).

I talked to Chris briefly and he seems like a good guy with his head on straight. The wait staff are polite and the service has been awesome, especially considering the place has been packed nonstop since it opened.

If some of the commenters don't want to go then don't patronize the place. For the rest of us who want a fun sporty bar with good food, beer, booze, and sports this place hits on all cylinders out of the gate. If the music thing takes off, then they hit out of the park.

Finally, one of the thing that makes the northern bars full of kids is that KIDS LIVE THERE! There are a lot of 25-35+'s around here that want a place like this minus the rookies that live up north. The Scout looks like it will fill the bill.

Anonymous said...

so far so good. i tried a lot of different items from the food menu and all were tasty. i was a little disappointed when we went to watch the Bear's Game Saturday and they left the music blaring extremely loud during the game (they claim they will only play music during the commericials during sporting events). we couldn't even hear ourselves talk and wanted to listen to the play by play. we asked the waitress why did they stop playing the audio for the TV and kept the music blaring. her answer - "someone must have requested the music".....we left

Anonymous said...

Well that's definitely a negative. I hate sports bars that play music instead of the game...and I'm a girl!

Might have to agree with Jeff on this one. Sounds like a douchey type suburban sports bar if they can't even support a team a couple blocks away.

Allen said...

It was pre-season football - that's why they left the music on to spare us because it was boring as hell and the Bears QBs got sacked 9 times...not a fun thing to watch or listen to.

Anonymous said...

I kind of agree with you, Jeff. Meh...another sports bar.

Anonymous said...

Was in there last night for a beer. Good crowd. Good beer selection. Yeah, it's another sports bar, but it's a nice place.

Anonymous said...

The scout is not just another sports bar. The scout is much cleaner and a better atmosphere than any bar in the south loop. Wabash tap smells so bad inside, there is no way that you can compare Wabash tap what is just another sports bar to The Scout!

Anonymous said...

Everyone that is hating on the scout is really missing out. This place has not officially opened and is packed. I have been there 5 times already and everyone in the place seems to be having a good time. All the haters out there are just missing out and should drop their stereotyping and check it out. (make sure to try the food)

Steven said...

Visited last night with my wife. Big space, lots of room to spread out, great decor, much nicer than a "sports bar". Had the mussels with bacon. Excellent. Split a black bean burger with cole slaw. Burger was perfect; the cole slaw just not good. Wait staff very professional. BTW, Zapatista's was crowded as was Gioco and Flo & Santo's. Scout is a welcome addition. Need to support allof our sloop businesses.

Anonymous said...

Free event at the scout today hosted by Chicago magazine. Sign up AT www.chicagomag.com/stella before 5 pm. Free stella from 6-8. I work for the magazine and live in the SL. enjoy and thank me later!

Anonymous said...

I was there last night for the Chicago Magazine. Not all ti was cracked up to be. And besides the event where you get wrist bands and complimentary Stella's - they ran out of both by 6:30-45. We planned on dining so thank goodness we had those plans. Honestly, this Sports bar..restaurant...club...? Not sure what it is but came off to me like a Club, the music was SO loud (in the restaurant area) I could not hear the person in the booth next to me. Horrible. So much for catching up with friends. Even when the guy on stage in the back wasn't playing, the music was too loud. It was cool and fun music but so much like a club. Food was okay not super great. I'm glad we have another place to hang at in the SLoop but it was kind of Douchy with the bouncer guy and loud dance music while you ate. Prefer Kroll's or Flo's and Santos for a Sports Bar , something quieter for dinner and maybe Scout for a Dance club kind of night.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Scout last night with a group of friends for the Stella event and we had dinner for the first time at the Scout. The food was really good. All of my friends ordered something different from the menu and everyone was very satisfied. I can not believe how packed this place was on a Wednesday even after they ran out of Stella. This place still isn't officially open, looking forward to this weekend for the grand opening!

tayiah said...

WOOOOOWWWWWW!!! this section is still going.

Anonymous said...

Keep on going like the energizer bunny. GO SCOUT!

Anonymous said...

Scout is just what the south loop needed!

Anonymous said...

Grand Opening weekend for the scout. Me and a large group of my girlfriends are going Friday and Saturday. We have been waiting a long time for a bar like the Scout in the South Loop and it is finally here. No need to travel to LP or River North. I hope all of this excitement for the Scout continues.

Anonymous said...

Love your food had dinner here last night. Will be back for sure.

Anonymous said...

Went to the Scout for the first time last night and had a great time. The craft beers selection is awesome. Looking forward to checking out the DJ tonight or tomorrow night!

Anonymous said...

If you are planning to get a seat to eat at one of the tables around 7pm, there will be at least a 45min wait especially this weekend. There are 2 bars, so grab a drink or two.

Anonymous said...

I went on August 12th to grab a bite and a few beers with a friend... we got there around 7, put our name on a waitlist and were told 45 minutes max. I checked in twice after an hour to see how much longer and the 18 year old hostess shrugged and said, "20-ish minutes?? We can't control how long people sit here, so..." So...we took ourselves to Zapatista, sat at the bar and enjoyed a delicious margarita and some tacos. I know it was the first weekend to be open, and I am truly happy for the business at a Sloop establishment, BUT I agree with Jeff. The decor leaves much to be desired, especially after the eclectic, artistic look of Opera. This will certainly increase business at Gioco, Flo and Santos and Zap's but I probably won't be back, unless of course they get some fantastic drinking specials.