The Lincoln Park neighborhood boasts several hubs for fun and the North/Clybourn intersection has amped it up even more. The sprawling New City complex opened in fall 2015 and continues to roll out new things to see and do. It's been a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking a range of culinary, shopping and entertainment options. At 363,000 square feet, it’s a great place to wander around for a long afternoon that might just end up spilling into an extended evening outing. Here are a few highlights to check out.
STOP 1: Brunch at Earls Kitchen + Bar
Earls Kitchen + Bar (1538 N. Clybourn Avenue) has made its mark across North America (they started off in Vancouver, by the way) and this is their first foray into the Windy City. When you walk into the main dining room, your eye will catch a wall of trumpets in front of you and a stunningly creative portrait of the late, great Muddy Waters. There’s but a few of the design touches that make it a truly unique place to dine.
Now you could stop by for lunch for dinner, but I’m here to talk up the brunch options, which are significant and most worthy. Along with a well-curated list of cocktails, they also have an excellent Croque Madame, along with their spicy Sausage and Mushroom Hash. Chef Chris Memme and his staff create the right mood with these dishes and it’s also a fine place to grab a drink as well after a movie or just if you’re feeling a bit parched. Before you go, make sure and check out their entire menu for a bit of advance planning.
STOP 2: Bowl On, Just Like a King
Bowling is cool again (did it ever go out entirely?) and the Kings Bowl empire is part of this story. Started in Boston back in 2002, this outpost opened at 1500 N. Clybourn a few months ago, and it’s a great place to gather for a bit of ten-pin entertainment. Along with their retro ring-a-ding decor — the Rat Pack would bowl here for sure — you can take in a game of pool, shuffleboard, pinball and other related pursuits.
STOP 3: Go to the Cinema in Style
The ArcLight cinematic experience prides itself on offering a rather unique movie-going experience, complete with no commercials before films (save trailers, of course), along with a full bar, reclining seats, and a range of posh movie snacks that put Raisinets to shame. Visitors can choose from menu items that include hummus, margherita flatbread, pork belly sliders, and decadent marcona almonds. It’s a nice downtempo place to spend an evening and a perfect coda to your New City experience.
GET THERE: Travel Tips
- Get there by train via the CTA Red Line to North/Clybourn stop
- New City retail offers a variety from Dick's Sporting Goods to Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth, with the surrounding shopping district boasting big national names like Nordstrom Rack, Apple Store, West Elm, Anthropologie, Forever 21, Old Navy, DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, and J.Crew
- Mix-and-match your itinerary with other nearby stops like iFly indoor skydiving, comedy at iO Theater, and stage performances from famed Steppenwolf or the Royal George Theater