Excitement for The Grateful Dead‘s final concerts is alive and well. Restaurants and bars are showing their multi-hued colors with tie-ins to the band’s Fare Thee Well shows this weekend. Whether they’re live streaming the concerts, hosting concerts of their own, or serving up special menu items, these are a few must-stop spots during this last-chance-in-a-lifetime weekend.
The West Loop winery and concert venue is jam-packed with Grateful Dead events this weekend. Not only are they going to be live streaming on their 7′ x 12′ screen, they’ll have live music after the Soldier Field concert is over. As they should, considering it’s hosted by Bob Weir and the Garcia family. (Did we just bury the lead? Yes, we did.) City Winery, 1200 W Randolph St
Hard Rock Cafe
This is another spot that’s all-in. During the day they’re hosting a free concert outside with local and national jam bands. All they ask is a $5 donation that will benefit Fight 2 Feed. At night head inside for the Grateful Dead After Party. Tickets are $15 in advance and the party goes until 4am. Now that’s all-in. Hard Rock Cafe, 65 W Ontario St.
Hop off the blue line and hop into this Wicker Park bar. They’ll be live streaming and tapping some appropriately themed beers. They’re also serving a special link, the “Legalize It”: Italian Sausage Link topped with Beerinara, Mozzarella, and Fried Pepperoni. Finished off with Funyuns. Links Taproom, 1559 N Milwaukee Ave
Weather Mark Tavern
This place is close enough to Soldier Field that you can walk to the concert – if you have tickets. If you do you can valet your car with them. No such luck? They’ll be live streaming. They’ll also have Dogfish Head “American Beauty” and South Loop Brewing’s “Alemerica the Beautiful” on special, as well as Cherry Garcia shots. Weather Mark Tavern, 1503 S Michigan Ave
Benny’s Chop House
The River North steakhouse will play Jerry Garcia-inspired music Friday through Sunday while you dine on one of their Rib “Eyes of the World”, sip on a “Ramble on Rose” cocktail, and finish up with the “Crazy Fingers” tart. Benny’s Chop House, 444 N Wabash
Brasserie by LM
Located at the south end of Grant Park they’re offering $6 bottles of Capital’s Grateful Red, Sweetwater’s Take Two Pils, and Tighthead’s Scarlet > Fire. They’re also serving up some menu specials including “reconstructed” chicken wings, which is roast chicken and bleu cheese stuffed in the celery. Whoa. Brasserie by LM, 800 S Michigan Ave
Howells & Hood
Executive Chef Brett Nuebauer is whipping up some special brownies this weekend. They’re made with dark chocolate, hop brittle, whipped cream, cherry jam, and a “secret” ingredient. Howells & Hood, 435 N Michigan Ave
Lockwood Restaurant & Bar and Potter’s Lounge
Even the restaurants at the snazzy Palmer House Hilton are getting into the groove. Get a Psychedelic Pizza with shrooms, lentils, smoked dates, fine herb and whipped ricotta for $20 or chow down on THE brownie, $10 and made of candied kale, smoked caramel, and bourbon laced walnuts. You’ll need a room if you drink a few of The Deadheads. This Long Island-like concoction is made up of Sauza Tequila, Smirnoff Vodka, Cruzan Rum, Beefeater Gin, Chambord and sour mix. Lockwood Restaurant & Bar and Potter’s Lounge, 17 E Monroe St
Photo credit: Chris Stone