City Winery

Bringing a New York wine bar and performance hall concept to Chicago’s West Loop.

Project Overview

Michael Dorf and a group of investors have poured $9 million into one of Chicago’s most thriving neighborhoods: the West Loop. Recently completed, this project provides a 300-capacity cabaret-seating concert hall inside a 28,000-square-foot winery and restaurant, plus a 5,000 square-foot courtyard. The emphasis is on the wine (450 varieties) and food as much, or more, as on the music and entertainment. NelsonHill worked directly with Dorf to:

  • Exclusively market 1200 W. Randolph: a 20,000 Sq. Ft. food service/production facility on 28,000 Sq. Ft. of land
  •  Successfully-position the asset and draw attention from restaurants or entertainment prospects
  • Launch a customized marketing campaign to a defined audience of probable buyers and developers

Finding the Right Buyer

Through their broker network, NelsonHill identified the Manhattan-based, City Winery that occupies the same size space in New York as the offering. “We’re high-end culinary meets cultural establishment,” says Dorf, who is eager to expand his City Winery concept to restaurant row on Randolph Street, right here in Chicago. He has been successful since 2008 with this thriving concept, causing NelsonHill to engage their representative and submit a custom marketing package that was just enough to draw their attention to our neighborhood.

Adaptive Reuse

Summit Design + Build, led by Adam Miller, is one of the most active construction firms currently revitalizing the West Loop neighborhood. Having worked repeatedly with NelsonHill, Mark Nelson facilitated introductions, and was able to bring on Summit for the construction arm of the redevelopment. With their expertise, at least 75% of the existing structure was retained, and the property successfully re-positioned for years to come.

From Leasing to Buying

After attempting to negotiate a lease transaction, NelsonHill connected the buyer with SomerCor 504 and were able to get a favorable SBA loan approved for the acquisition and construction loan. With financing secured, the project was complete within a year.

The West Loop

Chicago’s most active neighborhood for new loft development, world renowned restaurants and a trendy night scene.

The Neighborhood

The West Loop of Chicago, positioned directly West of Downtown and centered around Randolph Street, has quickly been transformed from a warehouse district to a thriving work/play community of retail, dining and wholesale space. Now home to award-winning restaurants like Girl & the Goat, NellcÔte, Market and Moto Restaurant, the CTA has provided easier access by installing a Green-Line Morgan Station, and private developers capitalizing on residential development opportunities. The new City Winery is positioned for success, with room to grow.