From this point forward, everything you’ve ever known about beer gardens will change. Two magic words: Roof. Retractable.
Presenting Benchmark, Chicago’s first rooftop beer garden. Also: Chicago’s first rooftop beer garden with a retractable rooftop. Yes, the implications are every bit as staggering as you think.
Before general pandemonium sets in, let us walk you through precisely what’s going on here. This is the newest addition from the operators behind Gaslight and Brownstone, offering another admirable mixture of leather lounge seating, Italian quartz walls, Lollipop Lamb Chops and Cubs games.
So when you amble in on a Saturday afternoon, ready for a cold draft, Korean Steak Tacos and a little baseball, you will find 47 TVs—massive ones looming over the crowd. Secret ones hidden behind mirrors. Many, many TVs.
But it’s summer. You need more. A fresh breeze, a little conversation. So look up. Through the soaring atrium, across from the DJ’s perch, right where the second floor should be is... an open-air beer garden. At least, sometimes. It will appear and disappear like a beer-soaked Brigadoon.
The entire south wall and southern roof of the second floor retracts, turning this into what’s known in architectural circles as a rooftop party. On warm days, the sun will warm your face. On breezy days, the wind will whip through your hair. On rainy days, the ceiling will prevent your beer from getting diluted.
Basically, it’s the convertible of beer gardens.