Halsted Street Becomes Lettuce Entertain You's Very Own Magnificent Mile

A few years ago, Halsted Street in Lincoln Park was but a shell of the burgeoning dining and drinking Mecca it is today. In fact, the neighborhood at large was maligned as a bit of a restaurant wasteland, at least in comparison to other hot spots like the West Loop, Logan Square, and River North. Save for a few staples, the neighborhood had a ways to go to prove its validity. And thanks in large part to Lettuce Entertain You, Lincoln Park has done just that. Specifically, the restaurant group has practically transformed and elevated Halsted Street into its very own Magnificent Mile, adding to its established and esteemed Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! with new destinations like Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra. Now comes news of the next venture, a seafood restaurant called Oyster on Halsted


Oyster on Halsted
Coming soon: Oyster on Halsted

The latest sure-to-be-hot-ticket on Lincoln Park's Halsted corridor, Oyster on Halsted is a partnership between Lettuce Entertain You and the venerable team behind Shaw's Crab House, a timeworn institution and one of the most revered seafood spots in Chicago. Shaw's partner Bill Nevruz and executive chef Pete Balodimas help captain the new endeavor in Lincoln Park, envisioning the restaurant in the same casual, fun, and delicious style as Shaw's downtown. This is evident in such additions as Low Tide Lounge, a subterranean cocktail lounge tucked beneath Oyster on Halsted, focused on craft cocktails. 

While Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! pioneered Spanish tapas in the neighborhood, Summer House Santa Monica served up a beachy homage to Californian cuisine, and Stella Barra perfected the pizza template, Oyster on Halsted promises to round out Lettuce's portfolio quite nicely with a focus on all things seafood. Of course, oysters on the half shell are at the crux of the operation, along with stuffed clams, steamers, crab cocktail, lobster rolls, lobster spaghetti, snapper, and more. 

As for decor, expect seating for roughly 80 in the dining room, with high top bar seating. Music to my native New England ears, the restaurant will sport a casual Cape Cod vibe, outfitted with both vintage and contemporary touches that serve to highlight both rustic and eclectic components. 

Oyster on Halsted is slated to open in the fall, with a new second floor concept due early next year. Get an early taste of Oyster on Halsted at Oyster Fest, taking place September 11. Purchase tickets for the event here

- Matt Kirouac