no. 263

A new craft beer bar opened in Chicago's River North neighborhood recently—an area known more for its high-end restaurants, hotels, and cocktail bars than beer. It's hard to believe that in a part of town with that much affluence, craft beer is still a bit of a foreign object. (Shoutout to Watershed Bar, though, which has been elegantly holding down that role for years now.) 

Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery opened its doors to the industry last week. Watching over her friends and former colleagues as they entered the bar was Patti Mandel, a former Goose Island educator now directing the beverage program inside this six-year renovation concept from owner Jeff Stevenson. It's a stunner, too.

Her team is backed up by former Hopleaf chef, Ben Sheagren. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you should get the mussels.

—Michael Kiser