Nestled under Cloud Gate, Park Grill and its adjacent cafe and patio have served as Millennium Park's only in-park restaurant since its debut 10 years ago; however, the park's influence has shaped the dining scene on streets surrounding it as well.
Billy Lawless, owner of nearby restaurant and pub The Gage, has had a front-row view of the area's evolution. "The opening of Millennium Park was a historical marker for [the Loop] and a motivating factor for opening The Gage," he said. It's not just the park itself but also its cultural programming throughout the summer that brings locals and tourists alike to the area, he said. "The impact of this upon the area's dining scene has been immense. Since opening in 2007, we have seen growth year over year with an incredible local surge Monday through Friday and an increase of out-of-town visitors on the weekends."
More than a dozen restaurants have opened in the immediate area since the park's first days. Here's a look at a few of the area's notable openings and closings:
53 E. Lake St. 312-658-1250
Hot Woks Cool Sushi
30 S. Michigan Ave. 312-345-1234
225 N. Michigan Ave. 312-698-7111
159 E. Monroe St. 312-443-8650
Henri (closed in June 2014; re-opening as 10/6 in August)
18 S. Michigan Ave.
Rudy's Bar & Grille
69 E. Madison St. 312-332-8111
180 N. Field Blvd. 312-938-4303
221 N. Columbus Drive 312-477-0234
Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe
130 E. Randolph St. 312-938-9777
Toni Patisserie & Cafe
65 E. Washington St. 312-726-2020
333 E. Benton Place #103 773-234-3449
Maison (closed in 2013)
333 E. Randolph St.
333 E. Benton Place #100 312-240-5000
Yum Cha Dim Sum
333 E. Randolph St. 312-946-8885
Brown Bag Seafood Co.
340 E. Randolph St. 312-496-3999