Summer is finally in full swing, and every Chicagoan is on a mission to spend as much time outside as possible. After all, we have endured the neverending grey abyss of winter, we deserve to frolick in the sun, am I right? And with the development of Chicago Riverwalk, frolicking got quite a bit easier along the river. Cold drinks, tasty bites, sweeping views of our gorgeous city, waterfront seating… What’s not to love? Well, folks, get ready to be really excited because Tiny Hatt has brought BIG SIZZLE to the Riverwalk, and I am not talking rising temperatures.
Tucked away between Dearborn and Clark streets, Tiny Hatt is the new cool cat on the Riverwalk block. It is so cool, in fact, that Shaft would hang there, no doubt. A collaboration between seasoned Chicago bar team behind Lincoln Square’s beloved Tiny Lounge and an award winning Memphis style BBQ chef of Big Hatt Gourmet, this riverfront venue offers something for everyone. This includes the Mayor.
“We’re pleased to welcome Tiny Hatt to the Chicago Riverwalk as one of the newest vendors this summer,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This neighborhood favorite is an example of the Riverwalk featuring an increasing number of options for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
“There’s no better season in Chicago than the summer for outdoor, patio locations centered around good food and drinks,” says Colleen Flaherty, Tiny Hatt founder. “We’re so appreciative for the support and positive response we’ve received.”
“We can’t say thank you enough to the City of Chicago and all of our guests for making our first few weeks such a success,” added Chef Craig Bell of Big Hatt Gourmet. “How can you beat a bourbon and candied bacon brittle with views of the river and Chicago? You can’t.”
Tiny Hatt’s cocktails alone are worth the price of admission (which is free of course, but there maybe a wait…). If you’d ever been to its mothership in Lincoln Square, you are bound to recognize some of the neighborhood favorites on the menu, albeit in barrel-aged format designed for high-volume service. You can’t go wrong with the Suburban or the Tiny Margarita or the bittersweet delight that is Negroni. However, not to be missed is Tito’s Cooler, a refreshing icy slush of vodka, fresh watermelon and lemon. And my personal favorite is the Mt. Coco, a proper trip to the tropics, mixing rum with housemade salted coconut cordial and lime. Add to the stellar cocktails a carefully curated list of mostly local brews and delicious wines (yes way, rosé!) and you got yourself a summer party!
The food deserves a Tiny Hatt tip all its own (see what I did there?). From bacon brittle topped deviled eggs and housemade potato chips with basil aioli, to pulled pork Chicago style nachos and lobster sliders, each bite here celebrates the flavors of summer. I loved the cool chicken salad sandwich with dried cranberries, the beefy tri-tip topped with pickled onions, and pretzel bites with four-cheese dipping sauce. The menu is designed for easy dine-in or take-out options and pairs with the cocktails beautifully. Trust me, I tested that theory myself. Oh, the things I do in the name of research…
I can wax nostalgic for hours about the lovely afternoon I wasted away on Tiny Hatt patio, but I think it’s high time you check it out yourself. After all, it’s summer, hot child in the city! What else is there to do but frolick on the waterfront, cool drink in hand? Tiny Hatt awaits. I’ll see you there.
Tiny Hatt is located at 55 Chicago Riverwalk, between Dearborn and Clark Street.
Open daily 11am – 9pm.
Reservations are not accepted.
Dogs are welcome!
Free Live Music Mon & Wed 5pm – 7pm.
Psssst… Tiny Lounge’s third project, Tiny Tavern, is coming to Chicago’s Navy Pier next month. Stay tuned.
Photos by Gourmet Rambler, Mary Kay Hardcastle and courtesy of Tiny Hatt.