Memorial Day is a time for remembrance and gratitude. It's also a time for soaking in the rays on restaurant patios while surrounded by cocktails. As Memorial Day marks the unofficial onset of summer, here are a few spots unveiling new patios to christen the season.
Headquarters Beercade River North (213 W. Institute Pl.)
You already love Headquarters Beercade for the plethora of arcade games, the nostalgia-inspired food, and the ample booze, especially the craft beers and progressive cocktails. Now there's more to love with Headquarters' brand new patio at their River North locale. This new 54-seater opens Memorial Day weekend, lining the length of Headquarters along the sidewalk. In line with the indoor motif, the al fresco setting is designed to resemble a cool, hip office space, featuring reclaimed file cabinets, flower holders and communal tables. When the patio opens, it will also arrive with new "surprise" cocktails on the menu.
JIMMY (610 N. Rush St.)
Elsewhere in the neighborhood, JIMMY eschews office inspirations and arcade games for chic greenery and matcha green tea pina coladas. The jazzy cocktail bar inside the James Hotel beckons a slick new patio May 23, featuring seating for 35 guests on the sidewalk between Ohio and Ontario. The patio is as stylish as the interior decor, resplendent with twinkly frosted lights, illuminated planters, and comfy wooden tables. To drink, bartenders have mixed up a new drink list featuring tempting (and refreshing) elixirs like bottled Gin Rickys, roasted citrus margaritas, and those aforementioned matcha green tea pina coladas. Additionally, Chef Dino Tsaknis of adjoining David Burke's Primehouse has crafted a special patio food menu with shareable items like Lyonnaise salad, caviar brandade, and smoked walleye sashimi.
Parlor Pizza Bar (108 N. Green St.)
One of the most coveted new rooftop spaces in the West Loop is ready for its emergence, post-winter hibernation. Parlor Pizza Bar has one of the largest outdoor dining and drinking spaces in the area, and while patrons were treated to the patio for a few weeks last fall, this season the restaurant adds an ample rooftop space to its repertoire. With additional seating for 150, the rooftop features a full bar constructed from an old freight-shipping container and high-top and lounge seating. As the name implies, pizza is king here, which may very well be the perfect roof deck food. Plus craft beers aplenty and a build-your-own Bloody Mary station on weekends.
Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave.)
An oldie but a goodie, Mercat a la Planxa opens its park-adjacent patio on Memorial Day weekend as well. With up close and personal views of Grant Park, the 60-seat patio provides a gorgeous vista to go along with its Catalan-inspired lunch and dinner menus. Colorful umbrellas lend some shade, while Grant Park provides the eye candy.
Photo: Parlor Pizza Bar