1209 N. Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610Neighborhood:
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.oldtownrefinery.com/
- Phone: 3128542970x
- Hours of Operation:
Tuesday 5pm - 12am
Wednesday 5pm - 12am
Thursday 5pm - 1am
Friday 5pm - 2am
Saturday Brunch 10am-5pm Dinner 5pm - 3am
Sunday Brunch 10am-5pm Dinner 5pm - 12am
Monday - closed
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American
- Executive Chef: Lawrence Letrero
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from The Refinery
The Refinery delivers a genuine experience in hospitality. With a warm, hip, and comfortable soul it is a reflection of its Old Town neighborhood. It is a place where refinements to the ordinary and familiar yield an atmosphere of relaxed sophistication, and where culinary art is approachable. Prepare to engage in a unique offering of fresh foods and handcrafted beverages that allow The Refinery to affordably remain on the cutting edge of the ever-evolving American palate. Come and experience the commitment to our craft and to you.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
The Refinery - Best Restaurants in Old Town ›
The Refinery reviews from OpenTable diners
16 reviews since May 6, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
great for brunch (10)neighborhood gem (9)great for outdoor dining (8)good for groups (6)great for lunch (5)fit for foodies (2)special occasion (2)kid-friendly (1)hot spot (1)late-night find (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
- Father's Day BrunchgreatfriendsgreatfoodDined on 6/15/2014I made a reservation for Father's Day for family who were visiting from out-of-state. A hostess made a confirmation call. That was terrific because we adjusted the time. However, the hostess did not tell me that the Wells Street Art Fair was going on. Nor did she tell me that the menu would be abbreviated and drinks would be served out of plastic cups. Not the Father's Day dining experience I was looking for. My family spent the first 30 minutes in the restaurant alone while I looked for parking. Nevertheless, of the few choices we had, the food was solidly good. Thankfully, my father enjoyed what he ordered. And, I cannot say enough about how terrific our waitperson was. She salvaged what turned out to look like a poor decision on my part.
- Disappointing ExperiencehealthyeaterDined on 6/14/2014While I recognize that we went there not only during the Wells Street Art Festival but also when there was an Italy/UK World Cup match happening, the food and service was absolutely terrible and inexcusable. First, nowhere on their web site did they mention their menu during the festival would be very limited. Second, it took about 45 minutes to receive two simple appetizers. Third, they got our orders wrong on several counts: cheese on 2 orders when we specifically asked to remove it, not knowing what lardons were and including them when asked to remove them, bringing the wrong salad dressing. Furthermore, the Sangria tasted like it was made with the cheapest red wine in the world. And only near the end of the meal did they apologize.
- Fabulous DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/7/2014This was my first visit to The Refinery. The space is beautifully designed and decorated. The service is attentive, but not overbearing. And the food is innovative and really interesting - our plates were cleaned!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- bday brunchOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/24/2014Went there for my bday brunch abd the chicken and waffles was amazing!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Yummy dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 5/17/2014Loved the mushroom mushroom bolognese! Definitely keep it on your menu :-DSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Awesome Mother's Day BrunchJWalkVIPDined on 5/11/2014Not too crowded...great food (we had the Classic Breakfast and the Fish & Chips)...but more importantly, their playlist was ON POINT! I didn't want to leave!Special Features:
- Great Food with Decent ServiceMaxin1019Dined on 5/11/2014We went to The Refinery for Mother's Day Brunch; the food and cocktail list were both outstanding but service was somewhat slow given the restaurant was not fully occupied. The decor was solid with exposed brick and arches, I would definitely go back for lunch.Special Features:
- Great Brunch SpotsausagekingDined on 5/11/2014I went there for Mother's Day Brunch and was pleasantly surprise of how delicious everything was. Ingredients are farm to table and you can tell! The bacon was amazing! I had the pork belly hash which was phenomenal! Everyone's meal was great and service was great too!Special Features:
- The following 69 reviews are from the The Refinery reviews archive.
- Very good but ate early dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 5/2/2014We ate early so probably did not get the full feel of the Restaurant's ambience as restaurant was still fairly empty. And we may not have been in the most adventurous eating mood. Food was very flavorful and well presented though. Service was excellent and friendly. Not a restaurant for simple eaters though, as all the dishes seemed to have a little bit of complicated personal spin on them. Need to go back to get the full experience but would definitely go back.
- BrunchBunnyearsDined on 4/27/2014Although I have lived in the neighborhood for many years I had never been to this restaurant. My niece,her ten year old son and I decided to try it. We all liked it. The biscuits and gravy were different as they were served with sweet potato biscuits. Very good. The vegies were crisp and fresh. My nephew had the classic bacon and eggs and said he liked it but left most of the bacon. I tasted it and it had way to much smoke on it. Outside of that everything else was excellent. Sever Katy was very friendly. We all said we would return.Special Features:
- Great space, unfortunate foodOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 4/25/2014We were so excited to come in to refinery but the food selection was so awful. Everything was way too decadent, random, and expensive - after one drink we actually walked out before eating. I consider myself a foodie, in that I love trying new foods and restaurants, but none of us could find anything that we felt compelled to try. I'm sure the food is decent if that's what you're in the mood for, but for going in for a dinner with friends, it was difficult to find things that went together or seemed appetizing. It was also dead, which I bet could be attributed to the difficult menu. If the menu was more varied and reasonable job the sense of upscale bar food (more like four corners), then I think more people would try it.Special Features:
- Fabulous Brunch!!bella1Dined on 4/20/2014We had brunch at Ester and we got spoiled trying several dishes.Like the house frittata made with delicious spanish chorizo, the Shrimp N Grits is a very unique dish full of flavor. I love their craft coffee and I tried the Clockwork Orange made with fresh juice,cointreau,gin and prosecco. Overall We had a great meal our server was very knowledgeable and with a great attitude.The ambience was very pleasant and their patio is very inviting. The Steel Cut Oatmeal is a must!!Special Features:
- Impressive service delicious diningLMfooooooodDined on 4/19/2014Went to The Refinery for a ladies night. Had amazing service from our server and the entire staff. Warm greeting at the door, prompt greeting at the table and very attentive with clearing plates and switching out silverware. All of this is great, but was super wowed by the food - seafood selections especially. The mussels were fantastic. It is on the pricier side for the area, but totally worth it if you're looking to try a new, tasty place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food = WowVievaDined on 4/16/2014This chef is uber-talented. Our food was pretty amazing -- it was far better than you'd expect from a place that looks like an upscale sportsbar and worthy of any topnotch foodie place. I hear that brunch is great there too. Check it out for sure!Special Features:
- Good food, ok serviceMD33Dined on 4/13/2014I went to the Refinery on a rainy Sunday and we were the only people at the entire restaurant. Despite being the only ones, the waiter managed to make many mistakes and failed to deliver quick and helpful service. However, the ambiance is nice/ cool space and the food I had was very good: cheese board - good, arancini - excellent, kale salad - ok/good, pretzel dessert - excellent, prosecco - very good. I will say I think the prices are a bit high for the food and location, definitely on the higher side.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A wonderful time!BirthdaygirlDined on 4/12/2014My friends and I had a girls' night out for my birthday. We had another place in mind at first but decided to try something new. So glad we did! The food and wine were amazing! Our server, Gianni, was so friendly, helpful and attentive. If I had to list a complaint I would say we were a little warm in the back but that wasn't the restaurant's fault as it was unusually warm and muggy that evening in April and too early for A/C. I myself could have done without the sports on the TV's but I do realize I'm in the minority when it comes to that. All in all, we all had a fantastic time and we'll be back to try more of the delectable treats!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BurgerDoubleJVIPDined on 4/11/2014Get the burger. Its made of short ribs and it feels like Jesus and Mohamed are giving you a double hi-five when you eat it.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Brunch ReviewYvonneVIPDined on 4/6/2014We enjoy the Refinery for dinner so we were pretty stoked to try it out for brunch. We went on their second day of brunch service and... well.. they probably have some kinks to work out. Service was personable, friendly, but SLOW! Furthermore, the food was good but we know that we could have gone to other places for better. Personally, I tried the fish and chips (crispy and buttery tasting) and the chicken and waffles. The chicken and waffles were delicious and combined many unique flavors. My mimosa was alright and my Bloody Mary was... weird. It had Guinness in it! I thought it was a bold new interpretation of a Bloody Mary and it was okay but I probably won't try it again.Special Features:
- The Refined RefineryFooddocVIPDined on 3/22/2014There variety and quality of the food at Refinery is amazing. What a treat to have poutine (a rich Quebecois dish of cheese, fries, gravy and meat), octopus, an eggplant compote, scallops, duck breast and duck sausage (the later two completely different.) Three of us shared them all and everything was great. The drinks, wines and beers are interesting and varied, and service was sharp. It will be even nicer when the warm weather allows for sidewalk dining!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Franks Reviewfranco5742Dined on 3/8/2014I enjoyed my experience. The staff was great and the menu was amazing. I will go back for sure.Special Features:
- Need to make some changesOldtown5Dined on 3/6/2014We popped in to the Refinery because we needed a dinner in the neighborhood. The place was nearly empty on a Thursday night around 730. It was clear why - the concept needs a significant rework. The food was not bad, but not at all commensurate with the prices. The dishes were just nothing out of the ordinary - a bit too heavy on the sauce for scallops, for example, and pasta that was slightly overlooked. Servers were very attentive, but that was in part because there were few other customers to attend to. Overall, this restaurant is just not competitive with the many other options further north on Wells or nearby in the Gold Coast. Too bad - it's a good looking space. More could be done with it.
- Great nightJohnB47VIPDined on 3/6/2014The greeter was great and out server was great. I'm sorry that I can't remember his name but he's from Mexico and we spoke a little of Spanish. He was very informative of the drink selection and also the main course. It would have been nice to have more people in the restaurant but either way the service was great. Will come back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Thanks, Refinery!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 2/26/2014My fiancee and I came by for a spur-of-the-moment romantic evening. I arrived first and was well taken care of from the moment I walked in. Indeed, the friendly and professional service was a highlight of our entire evening- thanks, Mimi! I was equally impressed by the food, despite the fact that my date ordered better than I did (the brown trout is superior to the alaskan char. First world problems...). Do yourself a favor and order dessert, their options are surprising in presentation and delicious in taste. I'm not crazy about the faux-fireplace and double big screen TVs near the bar. I found these fixtures distracted me from all the good things this restaurant has to offer.Special Features:
- The food, service and atmosphereLRBChicagoVIPDined on 2/22/2014The food, service and atmosphere at the Refinery was all excellent! Don't miss the deviled eggs!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Simply wonderful!LKC623VIPDined on 2/22/2014Went here for dinner with my boyfriend and we both loved it! The service was impeccable - from the hosts greeting to our vibrant and knowledgeable waitress. There were some great wines to chose from, I can't wait to go back and try more! And the food was delicious - ended up having two orders of their steak tartare!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- fabulous!sunfish917Dined on 2/21/2014We had an engagement surprise dinner at The Refinery two nights ago. Although we planned it somewhat last minute, they made very special! We had fourteen people and were in a more secluded part of the restaurant, so it was almost like a private party. The food was delicious! The whitefish sliders, mussels, and cheese plate were my favorites. The vegetarian Bolognese was great too. The service was superb. They were always checking to make sure we had enough water and new drinks if we wanted. Our food came out in a timely fashion and we never felt in a rush to order. Overall it was a fabulous night and I will definitely be going back to the refinery.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Some very notable dishesGreyhoundVIPDined on 2/21/2014The Refinery has a smaller menu, but with a good range of choices to satisfy most any taste. Ranging from pork rinds for an appetizer to an orange creamsicle dessert, there are unexpected and delightful surprises for any palette. The dishes range from OK (the chicken tortellini soup) to good (the poutine) to unbelievable (the short rib hamburger is the best burger I've ever had). The wine list is a little lackluster but the beer selections are outstanding and wide-ranging. They also have a nice assortment of specialty house cocktails. All in all, it's a great dining experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Valentine's Dinner DelightOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 2/15/2014We thoroughly enjoyed the Valentine's Day dinner special. The salmon and filet were superb. The wine pairings were the perfect complement.I would recommend this to a friend.
- I was seated in a small section,OpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 2/15/2014I was seated in a small section, just inside the door. Where there were no other guests. There were many guest in & out of the door, allowing it to be VERY drafty on this cold wintery night. My server did bring a portable heater and offered to move me after my 1st course had arrived. I'm not sure why I was seated in a section with no other guest........ it was a bit strange. WHile the server knew the menu well and tried very HARD to please me, I just wasn't into this menu. Even a simply pasta dish wasn't that nice. I took part of meal with me and ended up throwing away, I ALWAYS enjoy leftovers. Not likely that I would return.
- Vday dinnerKPchicagoVIPDined on 2/14/2014I went here with my bf for Valentine's Day, and ordered from the regular menu. Overall, the ambiance was pretty good. Our server was very nice, though not super knowledgable. The deviled eggs, which my bf wanted to get, were ridiculously salty and covered in truffle oil (can this ingredient disappear and never come back, please?!). Definitely skip that. The Arctic char was my favorite dish, but they left the skin on the fish. I think what separates a good restaurant from a great one is details like that. The scallops were good, too. I may go back here, but I feel like Paris Club or Girl & the Goat do this idea so much better for about the same price.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- superbcebrownddsVIPDined on 2/14/2014this addition to the "old town" restaurant scene offered us an outstanding meal paired with professional and friendly service in an attractive contemporary setting.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous Old Town RestaurantShaninTVIPDined on 2/7/2014Totally recommend this restaurant. I had the Steak with a kale salad and then shared the sticky toffee pudding. Portions were perfect (not oversized and not too small). Everything was fantastic and their cocktails were fabulous. Totally recommend "The Avation"! My only complaint and it is probably because it was so freaking cd the night we went is that the window seat combined with the concrete floors made it a chilly dining experience. Otherwise this restaurant is fantastic!!!! Oh, and try played great music. Kudos to whoever does the playlist.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Chicago Dining Out Says Five StarOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/1/2014A group from Chicago Dining Out celebrated Restaurant Week at The Refinery. We have THE greatest evening -- exceptional food, service and atmosphere. Truly enjoyed the pre fixe dining menu -- the dessert was heavenly!!! Allison provided excellent service. We'll be back!!!Special Features:
- Thought we would try it outOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 1/25/2014Thought we would try it out during restaurant week. It was a great place! Great food, atmosphere and service. Can't wait to go backSpecial Features:
- Amazing food and great atmosphere .bella1Dined on 12/31/2013I went for a New Years event and I had a great time,the food was a combination of fresh products like salmon,cheeses.Their dessert were amazing.The food is very testy.The ambience was great and the service very professional and friendly.Great wine selection.Great for girls night out.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Burger in ChicagoDoubleJVIPDined on 12/28/2013Not a burger place, more of a nice restaurant, but the burger is amazing. Really nice wait staff, I went once, then the next time multiple people who worked there remembered my name AND my order. Also, they are not a sports bar. If you want good food and don't want to share space with people screaming at a television, this is your place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, nice spaceOpenTable Diner Since 2013VIPDined on 12/14/2013The refinery turned out to be a really good choice for the large dinner party I had arranged. Everyone loved the food and drinks. The small plates and starters were a big hit, especially the whitefish sliders and the chicken wings that were very uniquely flavored. I would not recommend ordering a birthday cake, or celebratory cake in general, from this restaurant however. The cake was sub par, boring and $65... Absolutely not worth it. The hosts will push this on you, as they did me, by raving about the pastry chef, but I would bring your own in or just order deserts. Overall it was a success and I do think we will go back at some point.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I was excited to try the Refinery.JAKRNDinerDined on 12/7/2013I was excited to try the Refinery. I had driven by it and heard good things from other people. I made a reservation on Open Table and easily got a time on Saturday night the same day. They sat me right away when I arrived and the server was prompt to get to our table. My only complaint was the server told us that all the plates were very small and recommended we share a few items. We ordered the poutine and mussels from the share menu and the pork belly from the large menu to share. The mussel portion was HUGE, there were probably 100 mussels in the dish. I was appreciative of the portion, but would probably have ordered less food if we had known the portion was big. I do not like getting false information.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent service, great food,OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/30/2013Excellent service, great food, perfect for our group of 7. We ate early, started around 6:00pm so we got lots of attention. The food came out warm and in a timely manner. I'd recommend the fish sliders and the Kale salad for starters, each of us had different entrees and enjoyed them. Thanks for a very nice dining experience. We are all sports fans so the big TV's in the bar area gave us the chance to watch Alabama lose to Auburn with the missed field goal run back for a TD. We had a great time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun atmosphereSARAHDined on 11/29/2013Love the large screen + throwback music videos at the bar; the food was far better than bar food. Definitely try the poutine.I would recommend this to a friend.