Drinks Report: New Chicago Rooftop Bar, New Restaurants at W and Kimpton

renaissance chicago downtown

We've got word of a flurry of plans for new rooftop bars and restaurants from boutique hotels around the country.

The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel at 1 W. Wacker Drive, is planning to open a new rooftop bar and terrace overlooking the Chicago River in March 2016, according to DNAinfo

Complete with fire pits, a VIP lounge and 14 beer taps, the as-yet-unnamed third-floor bar is part of $8 million in renovations at the hotel, which spent $24 million last year revamping its lobby and guestrooms. The restaurant will seat about 160. 

The hotel said the bar's "Chicago-influenced" menu will be curated by chef Daniel Perez, who's behind the hotel's previously opened lobby restaurant, Staytion. Perez did not return a message seeking comment. 

The bar will be the newest in a slew of rooftop restaurants that opened this year, including Cerise at the Virgin Hotel, GreenRiver at Northwestern Medicine, and AIRE at 100 W. Monroe St. The Roof on theWit, 201 N. State St., nearby opened in 2009. 

cardinal hotel

In Winston-Salem, NC, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant’s The Cardinal Hotel has announced plans to open the Katharine Brasserie & Bar early next year. The hotel and restaurant are located in the historic R.J. Reynolds building.

According to the Triad Business Journal, the restaurant, which will combine French technique with classic Southern cooking, will sit adjacent to the hotel. The 314,000-square-foot building will include 174 guest rooms on the second through sixth floors and 117 luxury apartments on the seventh through 19th floors.

The restaurant is named for Katharine Smith Reynolds was the wife of R.J. Reynolds, the founder of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., according to the Winston-Salem Journal. The company once had its headquarters in the building.

Danny Bortnick, vice president of restaurant concept development for Kimpton, told the TBJ that The Katharine will be "100 percent a traditional brasserie."

"We aim to bring the charm and informality of a sidewalk café in Paris stateside to Winston-Salem and marry it to great Southern cooking," he said.

The Katharine's menu is expected to feature seasonal items, regional dishes from other parts of the Carolinas, an extensive wine list, cocktails and craft beer.

“I want to have seasonal items with local ingredients,” executive chef Ed Witt the WSJ. “And we’ll have a lot of Southern dishes.”

The Katharine will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eventually, it will add brunch, Witt said.

The restaurant will seat 120 inside and up to 44 more on the patio.

“More than anything, we hope The Katharine will be Winston-Salem’s place to be, whether a customer wants to come for an elegant multicourse meal or drop in for an informal drink and an appetizer at the bar,” Witt said. “We will be very hospitality- and community- focused, seeking to ensure that guests experience a welcoming atmosphere and see their food being prepared in the beautiful open kitchen.”

The Katharine is expected to open as early as February. Renovation for the restaurant and hotel is underway. According to Kimpton’s website, the Cardinal Hotel is now accepting reservations for stays starting May 10, 2016.

w los angeles

On the opposite coast, the W Los Angeles is adding to its own culinary lineup with plans to open another restaurant following the addition of the STK steakhouse, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new restaurant, dubbed The Hideout, is scheduled to open adjacent to the hotel pool early next year.  

The new restaurant is the latest move by the One Group, the company that owns STK and took over food and beverage operations for the hotel earlier this year.

The executive chef is Robert Liberato, who has previously worked at Son of a Gun, BLT steakhouse and Bon Appetit at the Getty Center.

The restaurant will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. As for what's on the menu, other than a grilled shrimp salad with avocado and watermelon radish, details are slim. 

In addition to adding new restaurants, the hotel also underwent a $25-million revamp and a name change -- from the former W Los Angeles-Westwood to W Los Angeles West Beverly Hills.