This fall, Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, known for its rich cultural diversity, will see the opening of the 98-room SOPHY Hyde Park. The hotel will now include Mesler, a restaurant whose name literally translates to “to mix and mingle.”
Brunch enthusiasts will enjoy Mesler’s daily brunch, served instead of the traditional breakfast and lunch service. From 2-5 p.m. daily, there will be a daily “Hyde Park Social” period, followed by dinner. Mesler will also offer a late-night lounge menu seven days a week, as well as room service. Official menus are still being finalized, but some options may include chicken and waffles, house-made pastas, a signature burger and various cuts of sustainably-raised beef served at dinner.
Mesler’s cocktail program will draw inspiration from Hyde Park’s legacy of art, innovation, math, science and astronomy. Desinged as a kind of chemistry show-and-tell experience, the bar will convey an aura of a mad scientist’s lab with nods to the World’s Columbian Exposition.
Mesler has appointed Bradford Shovlin, a veteran of fine dining in Chicago, to executive chef. Shovlin is a Detroit native and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Previously, he worked at the Michelin-starred North Pond in Chicago under Bruce Sherman and with Suzy Crofton at Crofton on Wells. Later, Shovlin took on the role of chef at Iron Horse in Milwaukee.
“Mesler will reflect the local melting pot and encourage this diversity through our menus and relaxed dining times,” says Shovlin. “We’re offering an approachable mix of casual and upscale dining options, with reasonable price points that are in keeping with the South Side.”
Chicago-based GREC Architects are spearheading the design of SOPHY Hyde Park, and interiors are being created by design firm Stonehill Taylor, combining flowing forms and upscale materials for elegance and texture. Each space pays homage the arts, sciences, music and literature.
Multiple dining and drinking areas help achieve Mesler’s purpose of mingling. The 60-seat dining space, which has been imagined as an author’s dining room, was influenced by local figures in twentieth century literature. Bookshelves that have been carved into columns partition seating areas, and walls feature a gallery of book covers and local artists’ original works inspired by the literature of Hyde Park. Additionally, Mesler has chosen to display selected pieces from Hyde Park Academy High School that reflect Hyde Park’s rich history in intellectual, artistic and cultural innovations.
A 15-foot, double-sided fireplace will connect and separate the hotel reception area from the 40-seat Mesler lounge. Hyde Park’s scientific discoveries from the last century have inspired décor centered on metals, orbital light fixtures, and geometric motifs. An outdoor lounge area will accommodate 24 guests. Inside, a private dining room, complete with an outdoor patio and fire pit, will accommodate up to for up to 14.
Featuring quiet corners as well as areas for mingling, Mesler is hoped to be a common place for visitors and locals to meet, work, and experience Hyde Park.