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Bar Umbriago to replace Eatt on Hubbard Street

Rosebud group launching new wine bar

March 22, 2012|By Erin Gibbons | For RedEye

If you’ve been wondering what is going into the old Eatt space in River North, here’s your answer: a new Italian wine bar by the Rosebud group.

According to executive chef Michael Ponzio, Bar Umbriago (6 W. Hubbard St.) will feature a modern small-plates menu (no $50 steaks here), while staying true to Rosebud’s old-world-Italian sensibility with touches such as classic cocktails and live entertainment. It’s even named after a character in an old Jimmy Durante song.  

The concept is in line with recent management changes at Rosebud: The restaurant group announced this week that founder Alex Dana would be stepping down, elevating a new generation of management all between the ages of 28 and 37. 

Although Bar Umbriago is, as its name suggests, a bar at its core, “the main focus at Rosebud has always been the food, so we want to really deliver over-the-top, incredible food and make people want to come in for dinner and stay to drink,” Ponzio explained.

The 28-year-old chef will be serving up homemade pastas, salumi and cheese plates, and unexpected seafood dishes such as octopus carpaccio. Families are welcome, but Ponzio is hoping to draw in the younger crowd with music, an affordable wine list and a late-night menu. The kitchen will be open until 11 p.m. during the week and 12 a.m. on weekends. After that, a limited late-night menu of antipasti and appetizers will be available. The spot will also open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Appetizers will range from $6-$10, pastas from $10-$16, and entrees from $12-$22. Ponzio said he’ll have high-end bottles of wine on hand, but he’s focusing on affordable options that reflect the comfortable atmosphere the wine bar is going for.

“Our whole idea here is that everybody can come and enjoy themselves,” Ponzio said. “You can come in a suit and have a great time, or you can come in jeans and a T-shirt and have just as good, if not better, of a time.”

The team is completely remodeling the Eatt space, installing a new 23-foot-bar in the middle of the dining room, adding a small party room and lining the Hubbard Street side with pub tables and windows that open to the street. The 130-seat spot is still under construction, but Ponzio hopes to have it open by the end of April.

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