Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Acadia Nears The "Homestretch"

We've been actively following the developments at Acadia, the new American Contemporary restaurant at 1639 S. Wabash. While many of us were skeptical about whether or not the restaurant would be opening in 2011, it looks like they're almost ready to accept their first patrons.

If you haven't checked out their blog yet, it's a fascinating look into the process a restaurant goes through prior to opening. And that's where we see that they're getting closer to opening:
the finishing touches are being made at acadia. we are finally down the
homestretch after a long journey that started back in july. it’s perplexing to think that we started with a raw unfinished space, and transformed iit into something as elegant and inviting as this. we will be opening within the next two weeks. this hardly seems possible. i’m finally standing inside my vision…
If you look at their website, they're accepting reservations for New Year's Eve. However, looking at Metromix Chicago's "The Countdown" page, it sounds like they're opening sometime around December 21st.

While it seems many in the neighborhood are eager for the restaurant to open, we're curious to see how it does. Yes, the interior looks beautiful and the entire project is clearly a labor of love

for Chef Ryan McCaskey, who appears to have a vision for every detail. However, the concept seems high-end, which haven't seemed to fare as well in the South Loop lately (see Tribute). Couple this with the fact that the location is on a relatively desolate stretch of South Wabash, we will be curious to see how Acadia fares. One bright spot for the location is that city plans to build a park just North of Acadia which should help attract foot traffic to the area (however, construction hasn't started and who knows when this will be completed).

Anyway, we look forward to our maiden voyage to Acadia. Whether or not it is the "signature" restaurant that helps put the South Loop on the culinary map of Chicago remains to be seen.

Hopefully it's a step in that direction at least. Judging by this scallop picture, it could be:
(Image from Acadia Blog)


Anonymous said...

I am actually looking forward to a couple of things re Acadia: 1. Hopping off the bus, heading to bar for a drink, meeting my wife there for a bite to eat. 2. Summer Time at Acadia - pre/post the Park being there, going out for a nice dinner. I really think the seafood here will be fantastic and I hope at least the South Loopers will make this a hot spot if the food is great. Currently, there is no where to go in the area for this type of food.

slop said...

We'll be there with a big group NYE. Very excited!

Anonymous said...

I don’t think Tributes failure relates to Acadia at all. With Tribute losing their first two chefs before opening and having to promote Letrero, they ended up having somebody running the ship that didn’t have the experience to run a restaurant of that caliber. This resulted in an experience (food, service, etc…) that wasn’t worth the price. McCaskey on the other hand has the experience to run a restaurant like this and it sounds like it might actually be a terrific value for the money. I’m not sure how much the normal menu is going to be, but I did enquire about NYE, since I have already made reservations. NYE is $125 for the 6:00 serving and $150 for the 9:00 serving and includes 5 courses, wine parings, a glass of champagne and some additional surprise bites. 9:00 seating will also have live music. I think all of that on NYE is a terrific value at a place of this caliber, or at least of the caliber that I am expecting this place to be based on McCaskey’s past.

The other thing that Acadia has going for it is that it has some real buzz around its opening. As you may have noticed the Metromix article lists it as a “Hot Opening”. Outside of the South Loop nobody really knew or cared about Tribute. People who follow food/restaurants in Chicago know who McCaskey is and probably know about Acadia opening. Chicagoans from outside the South Loop are much more likely to come try out Acadia or recommend it to tourists/conventioneers/foodies staying by McCormick or Grant Park than they would have been with Tribute.

And no, I am not associated with Acadia in anyway and I don’t have anything against Tribute. I was actually sad to see it close, because I wanted to try it again since I heard that things were getting better there. I’m just a South Loop resident that loves good food and is excited to have Acadia coming to our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

While I'm exciting for another restaurant opening up in the Sloop (and hoping Acadia won't suffer the same fate as Tribute), I'm a little disappointed with the concept/cuisine. From the appearance of the interior and a couple of the pictures of possible menu items on the blog/website it's going to be more fine dining. I was hoping it would be a little more casual.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy it's fine dining. The area doesn't have any fine dining restaurants whereas casual places are popping up all over. I'm hoping to make a reservation with my family on NYE. It looks tasty

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to Acadia opening. I will be a regular barring some kind of disappointment. Im not sure however if this is the best time or location to be opening a pricey restaurant. Best wishes to them, it would be good for the Sloop if they thrive.

Anonymous said...

I was worried about it being fine dining as well when it was first announced, but this really looks like something awesome and special now, plus I understand there will be a more casual bar area to it as well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49 hit the nail on the head. This is meant to be a destination restaurant. People will travel for the experience.

Also, the "approachable" bar menu sounds spot on for the locals.

Finally a place I can bring clients to in the neighborhood and be proud of.

Fine dining is fine as long as there are alternates for a regular outing and the fine dining truly is living up to the price.

MsMediator said...

I for one am looking forward to having a fine dining spot in my neighborhood!

As well, I am looking forward to experiencing a few summer nites at Acadia.

Anonymous said...

Walked by tribute and they had a sign up that said they were closed due to kitchen repairs. I know at one point they had a sign conceding that they were permanently closed so curious about the new reason stated. I for one was not a fan of the place and would like to see something new go in on such a prime location. Anybody know the status?