S&W Chicago Celebrates 20 Years
Smith & Wollensky Chicago is celebrating 20 years this month as the quintessential steakhouse in the city that knows its steak. Regarded in many circles as “America’s Steakhouse,” the restaurant opened April 15, 1998 on the Chicago River and has since served signature USDA Prime steaks, premium seafood and award-winning wines to over 1.5 million business guests, locals, celebrities and tourists from around the globe. Erected in Marina City, Smith & Wollensky Chicago’s wooden building – forest green, with white trim and latticework – replaced the defunct skating rink in Bertrand Goldberg’s mixed-use facility adjacent to the theater building.
“We are delighted to celebrate 20 years in the iconic Marina City neighborhood,” said Regina Arendt, managing partner and GM of Smith & Wollensky Chicago. “From day one, our team has been dedicated to delivering the ‘America’s Steakhouse’ experience that the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is known for and we are honored to be a long-standing and popular steakhouse destination in Chicago. We look forward to continuing relationships and creating memories with our guests and community for many years to come.”
Arendt, along with six other restaurant team members, has been with Smith & Wollensky Chicago since opening day. Smith & Wollensky brought Arendt into its family as a floor manager and quickly promoted her to assistant general manager. During the restaurant group’s expansion into several new markets in the late ’90s, Arendt was highly involved. Arendt assisted with the launch and opening of multiple Smith & Wollensky locations before heading up the location in the city she loves most: Chicago. Arendt joins sous chef Jamie Marchan and servers Jennifer Burn, Juan “Gabby” Olea, Hugo Pesantez, Gerald Schmidt and Walter Vasquez in this 20th anniversary milestone. On April 15, 2018, CEO Michael Feighery presented the opening team with commemorative Moët & Chandon’s iconic Moët Impérial champagne bottles adorned with the opening anniversary date.
To commemorate two decades with guests, Smith & Wollensky Chicago will offer these celebratory selections of Moët & Chandon’s iconic Moët Impérial Champagne at a specialty price of $20 by the glass for the 20th anniversary and $98 for the anniversary date-adorned bottle, in honor of the year that Smith & Wollensky Chicago opened. Reservations are not required but encouraged, as bottles are in limited supply.
Since opening in 1998, the time-honored steakhouse has earned critical superlatives in Chicago, including the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettell who wrote about having “the best sirloin of my life – a massive strip steak, incredibly juicy and tender, with a mouth-filling, slightly earthy taste that comes only from the finest aged beef.” The restaurant has also received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence every year consecutively since opening, showcasing a library of more than 600 selections and 2,600 bottles in inventory — the very best domestic and international selections that prove excellence in steak and seafood pairing.
In addition to its spacious dining room and riverside patio, the 25,000 square foot, 600 seat steakhouse has a multitude of renovated private dining spaces, showcasing riverfront views and accommodating from 20 to over 400 social and corporate private event functions.
In fall 2014, Smith & Wollensky Chicago introduced Wollensky’s Grill, located in the all-glass lower-level riverfront space. The downstairs space was renovated and designed to offer a shareable dining and social experience, featuring riverfront views, banquette seating and an expansive racetrack bar with flat screens for socializing and watching the latest sporting events. The approachable menu offers unique beef cuts, eclectic shareable plates, burgers and bar fare, in addition to an impressive craft beer and cocktail selection. The space also boasts a lively bar scene and gathering place for those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere and social experience, while taking in unparalleled river views.
Menus, photo galleries, reservations and private event information are available here.
Reserve now to celebrate 20 years of S&W Chicago.