Chicago is such a unique city in that it offers so much to residents. Recently, I had four of my East Coast friends visit Chicago for the first time, and like myself when I first moved here, they were pleasantly surprised at what a diverse city it is.
Offering a beautiful skyline, one-of-a-kind skyscrapers views from above, diverse neighborhoods, an expansive restaurant scene that includes some of the best restaurants in the country, and then of course with the Chicago River and stunning Lake Michigan, Chicago truly has it all.
Summer in Chicago is spectacular because you have the opportunity to enjoy all that the city has to offer, albeit in a short period of time thanks to our limited months of perfect weather. Beautiful Lake Michigan practically begs for you to visit, and you are missing out if you don’t make it to the lake at least a few times during summer. Plus, public beaches run from north to the south of the city, complete with volleyball nets, kayaking, and other water activities.
Unfortunately, there are not too many restaurants within close proximity to the beaches, which can be such a bummer. The most prominent beachside restaurant is Castaways, and though I have never been, I have an idea of what is like after passing it many times; beachgoers getting day drunk in their swim trunks and bikinis, and paying way too much for basic rail liquor cocktails. Not really my scene.
Enter Shore Club Chicago. When I was invited to the grand opening of this new spot, I was excited— it sounded so cool! A new resort-inspired beach side restaurant, located on one of the most popular beaches in the city, North Avenue beach. Although I was surprised it was opening in August, with only a month and a half left of summer weather to go, I still was excited to embrace this new spot.
Unsure of what to expect, and with an invitation stating the dress code was cocktail inspired, my uber dropped me off at the busy North Avenue entrance. I saw Castaways to my right, but was really confused as to where the location was. Thankfully, there were plenty other nicely dressed individuals that stood out as much as I did on the beach looking equally confused, and we just began to follow those ahead of us.
As we approached Shore Club, there was a ginormous tent setup. From the outside, it looked like a wedding tent. Inside, though, was a different story. As we entered, there was an expansive outdoor space with an outside bar. Inside the tent was a large bar to the back, with a beach inspired wall adorned with gold accents and shelving.
While there is definitely a “resort-inspired” feel, it is still casual and relaxing. It is very Miami-esque; and while Chicago is much different than Miami, for a moment you really can imagine being in South Beach. It’s a teeny bit cheesy, with blue curtains draping the large plastic tent and gold pineapples galore, but it is also fun and aesthetically pleasing.
They worked really hard to execute their beach-vibe concept. I especially loved the back bar, with a lush greenery backdrop and a sign that reads “This calls for bubbles.” Really cute!
There are three spaces at Shore Club: The Patio at Shore Club, The Restaurant at Shore Club, and The Oasis at Shore Club. The Patio is the first space you enter, while The Restaurant is under the tent. On the opposite side of the tent is The Oasis, a fun beach area.
Guests will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beach views from a sunbed, daybed or a signature cabana. The menu at The Oasis will offer a beautiful array of shared plates and large format options, perfect for groups looking for a one-day getaway. Guests can soak up the sun and indulge in some of the world’s finest champagnes, or enjoy a variety of different signature Club cocktails.
Reservations are required for The Oasis at Shore Club, so be prepared if you are looking to check it out on your day at the beach.
The restaurant’s menu will feature Mediterranean-inspired food menu created by Executive Chef Elizabeth Tokarczyk, in partnership with Inspired Catering, and will focus on seafood dishes. I had the chance to glance at the menu, and considering that it is an upscale dining experience, and also located on the beach where food and drinks are notoriously marked up, it didn’t seem too bad. No Miami prices here; there are a variety of items at every price point, and the food sounds really good.
Shore Club is a new exciting spot to join North Avenue Beach, and it will offer guests a unique beach experience unlike any other. Expect cute girls in bathing suits taking copious amounts of Instagram photos while tossing beach balls around, and groups of friend day drinking in the sun.
Shore Club will also begin offering weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.. It will feature a “country club”-style experience with various food stations sure to satisfy those looking for a new go-to brunch spot. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.beachsidebrunch.com.
Shore Club Chicago
1603 N. Lakeshore Drive