Considered one of Fulton Market’s Swankiest Eating places Unveils a Luxe All-Season Patio

Joe Flamm is aware of how a 50-degree day with a splinter of sunshine generally is a boon to Chicago’s restaurant and bar homeowners, and he’s hopeful {that a} distinctive 100-seat all-season patio at BLVD in Fulton Market will enable locals to repeatedly benefit from the open air with a scrumptious meal, snack, or tasty beverage.

Final summer time, Flamm diverted his consideration from Rose Mary, the Croatian-Italian restaurant in Fulton Market he opened with Sancerre Hospitality. He took his abilities a couple of blocks away to Sancerre’s first restaurant, BLVD. The lavish area that celebrated extra in a Nice Gatsby approach has modified because it opened in 2017. In the course of the pandemic, all the things needed to evolve to outlive. Sancerre rebranded the area as a steakhouse in 2020. Flamm then final yr reworked about 60 p.c of BLVD’s menu, giving the restaurant a refresh.

By that point, Sancerre had begun work on a brand new all-season patio with retractable screens. Designers at Aria Group have been going for a secret backyard really feel with linen curtains and string lighting to supply intimacy. An 11-foot-tall pergola might be coated by motorized screens throughout wet days. There’s additionally room for big teams at two 10-seat tables.

“You may sit on the market along with your martinis and a dozen oysters and shellfish, your beef tartare,” Flamm says. “You may sit out for date evening or with teams of mates and have a filet and sip huge, pink wines. You may run the gamut.”

This wasn’t some sidewalk job bussers and servers arrange on sidewalks earlier than a restaurant opens. Development took 9 months. Flamm says the brand new out of doors area offers BLVD one other probability to introduce itself to diners and to indicate off adjustments. Luxurious has its worth, and never everybody was eager on spending on a lavish meal. The patio is a barrier breaker, permitting passersby to peek over the fence and see what the restaurant can provide. Flamm hopes staff with workplaces close by, together with Google and McDonald’s, are lured.

Flamm and Sancerre imagine an amenity like this doesn’t actually exist within the West Loop and Fulton Market. The motivation to construct was to fill a distinct segment and generate some buzz for the six-year-old restaurant.

Buyer patterns are extra unpredictable for the reason that pandemic, particularly monitoring any after-work crowds. Illinois took years to legalize blissful hour drink specials after which COVID struck conserving staff away from their workplaces as well being consultants warned in opposition to ingesting in bars. However three years in, blissful hour crowds are slowly returning, albeit it’s completely different. With their provide of staff who break up their time at house and on the workplace, Fulton Market and West Loop present a brand new stream of consumers. For instance, take a look at a bar like Lone Wolf on a weekday evening alongside Randolph Road. For BLVD, the area makes them a participant to win these clients.

The complete BLVD menu is offered indoors or exterior, together with these fancy steaks from distributors like Westholme Wagyu. Decadent shrimp cocktails are apparently a nationwide development, stories Ryan Sutton in a chunk for Bon Appetit. Flamm says there’s nothing tremendous novel about BLVD’s model, however the restrained strategy is what he’d name the most effective shrimp cocktail in Chicago. Asparagus is in season, so Flamm’s serving seared scallops with the vegetable in a brown butter French dressing and pine nuts. Blackened salmon served over a mattress of grits offers one other spotlight. Flamm additionally touts a veal chop with fried caper aioli whereas praising the wine program curated by Ted Rink. Rink labored with Flamm at Spiaggia earlier than the Italian powerhouse closed off the Magazine Mile.

Check out the area within the photographs beneath.

BLVD patio, 817 W. Lake Road, open every day beginning at 4:30 p.m.