Lonely Planet Writer

Enjoy the view and drink wine in one of Chicago’s new river domes

In Chicago, there’s a short window to comfortably enjoy the outdoors, but this year one local restaurant found a way to extend the season. City Winery is debuting a cluster of igloo-esque transparent domes that will offer shelter from the elements with unobstructed riverfront views, and plenty of wine.

A river dome at the City Winery, Chicago.
A river dome at the City Winery, Chicago. Image by Paul Crisanti

The wine bar and music venue’s seasonal outpost at the Riverwalk opened on 17 March. While the pedestrian-friendly stretch on the south bank of the Chicago River typically draws locals and visitors for al fresco dining and entertainment when the temperature rises, this year guests can take in views of the riverfront and Chicago’s famous architectural gems from the warmth of a river dome. Each heated structure can accommodate between two to six guests, and is outfitted with cozy seating, a bluetooth speaker for streaming music, a cheese and charcuterie board, and a 500ml carafe of wine per person (which equals about three glasses.)

 

A post shared by Winesellers, Ltd. (@winesellersltd) on Feb 17, 2017 at 1:45pm PST


“The idea for the domes came from our desire to offer a way to enjoy City Winery Chicago’s beautiful Riverwalk space during the months of March and April when the weather remains questionable,” Brooke Webster, General Manager for City Winery Chicago on the Riverwalk told Lonely Planet. “Chicagoans are always eager to enjoy outdoor activities as soon as possible as winter winds down. City Winery Chicago’s General Manager Nathan Holgate was inspired by dome structures that he saw on the River Thames in London, and we believe this is the perfect set-up for a relaxing experience where guests can enjoy amazing views of the Chicago skyline and the Chicago River while enjoying the comfort of being indoors.”

A river dome at the City Winery, Chicago.
A river dome at the City Winery, Chicago. Image by Paul Crisanti

The river domes will be available from 17 March through 30 April from 11 am to 7 pm daily, and each 90 minute reservation costs $100 per person for six guests, $125 per person for four to five guests, and $150 per person for two to three guests.

 
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