Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 15, 2013
Yonder (http://www.yonderchicago.com), a new concept Southern picnic cafeteria by the creators of Wishbone restaurant, has opened at 5 S. Wabash, on the third floor of the Mallers building in Chicago’s Loop.
Open for breakfast (8 -11 a.m.) and lunch (11 a.m. -3 p.m.) Monday through Friday, Yonder represents a compressed version of the traditional Southern buffet, explained owner Guy Nickson, whose family founded Wishbone restaurants more than two decades ago in Chicago’s East Village.
“Yonder is a crossroads where good food meets good company,” said Nickson. “It’s designed to artfully and whimsically mimic picnic table dining in the tradition of church socials or extended family gatherings under the trees.”
The 70-seat restaurant features communal tables overseen by a congenial host who seats and, if necessary, introduces fellow diners. Tables are specially lit to soften the proximities of strangers sitting next to one another. A collaboration of local artists designed corrugated tin overhangs, barn sidings and hand-painted murals. Tree trunks morph into bacon strips with floating fried eggs for clouds. Mis-matched chairs and recycled wood tables continue the theme, as does one table for two that emulates a truck tailgate. A multi-track sound system provides discreet nature sounds mixed with old folk and blues recordings.
“Communal seating has been on the rise in recent years, but Yonder takes it to a new, original dimension with an art installation, dappled light and southern hospitality,” said Nickson.
Under the direction of Chef Jon Trubow, Yonder balances its recipes with simple, unprocessed ingredients, fresh meats and produce. “We take a common-sense approach by using lighter oils and avoiding flavor enhancers. We also offer vegan and gluten-free options,” said Trubow.
Mornings begin with made-to-order omelets, pancakes, grits, bacon, biscuits and gravy. Around 11:15, the menu transitions to blackened catfish, black bean cakes, smoked pulled pork and jambalaya, plus a long list of rotating entrée, vegetable and dessert specials. Entrees can be ordered a la carte, or combined with a choice of hot or cold sides for a single price (most under $11). Beverages include brewed iced tea, coffee, bottled sodas, fresh orange juice and lemonade.
“We’re designed for high-tech freshness and speed,” said Nickson. “Our single line of small-volume steam tables are fed directly from the kitchen, and the limited menu choices insure that food moves quickly and remains fresh.”
Carryout can be ordered online or from a separate pick-up window. Yonder delivers within a one-block radius for $3. It also offers catering, and the space is available evenings and weekends for private events (for details, contact Heather Edson, 773.549.4153).
The original Wishbone opened in July 1990 at 1800 W. Grand Ave., and was one of the first chef-owned independent restaurants in Chicago’s East Village. Today, there are two Wishbone restaurants in Chicago: a 170-seat restaurant at 1001 W. Washington St., and a 160-seat restaurant at 3300 N. Lincoln Ave. (Wishbone North). Yonder, a new 70-seat Southern picnic cafeteria at 5 S. Wabash, is the latest Wishbone incarnation.