Tavern on Rush Turns 20

It’s hard to believe Tavern on Rush is celebrating its 20th anniversary already, mostly because it’s hard to imagine the Gold Coast without such an iconic fixture. One of the most influential, enduring steakhouses in the pantheon of Chicago’s modern steakhouses, the restaurant is celebrating the occasion in style with a series of events, specials and celebrations throughout April. 


Tavern on Rush
Tavern on Rush

First, let’s take a look at the lasting influence Tavern on Rush has had on the Chicago dining and drinking scene at large: 

When the restaurant first opened, it was well before the city became infatuated with patios and elevated terraces. Tavern on Rush played a pivotal role in launching full-blown patio culture in Chicago, paving the way for mega-patios like Big Star, Parson’s Chicken & Fish and hot-spot terraces like Raised and Cindy’s. This was the original hot-spot, enticing packed crowds on a routine basis and creating a scene unlike anything downtown had seen before. 

In the ensuing decades, Tavern only solidified its people-pleasing reputation not only with its expansive, wraparound patio, but with its “something for everyone” menu, its stylish environs, its recurring specials and promos, and its alluring, sexy cocktails. It all fit together seamlessly to create a restaurant that’s equally attuned to the vibe as it is the quality food and drinks. 

Perhaps most significantly, Tavern was also at the forefront of Chicago’s modern steakhouse era, opening at a time that bridged the gap between classic haunts like Gene & Georgetti and Chicago Chop House and more neoteric takes like STK, RPM Steak and Maple & Ash, all of which followed Tavern’s direction to create successful formulas for vibe, food and drink. Without pioneers like Tavern on Rush, the city likely wouldn’t have experienced the recent boom of contemporary steakhouses — with no end in sight. 

Because of this influence and ingenuity, Tavern’s 20th anniversary certainly merits celebration. 

It all starts on April 10, which kicks off a week-long spree of daily specials, raffles, prizes and more. For starters, the restaurant is donating 20% of all sales on April 10 to the family of fallen CPD Commander Paul Bauer. After that and through the rest of the week, the restaurant will feature specials like $20 select wine bottles on April 11, free margherita pizzas on April 12, $20 8-oz. filet mignons on April 13, $20 bottomless brunch mimosas on April 14 and 20% off entire tabs on April 15. Continuing into the following week, special prizes will be on-hand for the anniversary ladies night party on April 16.  

In addition to these specials, all diners who visit Tavern throughout the anniversary week will be able to enter a special raffle, with a grand prize of a custom dinner created by executive chef John Gatsos for 10 guests at the restaurant’s chef’s table on the second floor. Winners will be announced April 17. 

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