Upstairs at The Gwen

4.4
109 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Highlighting the rich diversity of American cuisine, Upstairs at The Gwen serves three meals a day in an elegant space that gives a wink to Chicago’s storied past. Located on the 5th floor, Upstairs offers a variety of seating options — from cozy banquettes to communal tables — allowing guests to tailor their dining experience. For groups, Upstairs at The Gwen also offers private dining rooms, which can be reserved for intimate affairs, special occasions, and events.

Perched on the fifth floor of the landmark McGraw-Hill building, Upstairs at The Gwen focuses on the art of craft cocktails paired with shareable small plate fare, and boasts cityscape views from among the Art Deco-infused architecture of The Gwen.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Farm-to-table
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Hours of operation
Circa Restaurant
6:30am - 11am | Daily for breakfast

Upstairs at the Gwen
11am - 12am | Sunday - Thursday
11am - 2am | Friday & Saturday

Upstairs at The Gwen Terrace
11am - 11pm | Sunday - Thursday
11am - 12am | Friday - Saturday

*Terrace reservations after 4 PM only 21 +.
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Phone number
(312) 645-1500 ext. 4800
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Matt Jergens
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Cross street
Between Grand Ave. & Illinois St.
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Parking details
We do not validate parking.
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Public transit
CTA: Red Line Train ("Grand" Stop)
Bus: 147, 148, 151, 145, 146, 3, 157
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Entertainment
Join us for live music every Wednesday and Friday.
*Terrace reservations after 4 PM only 21 +.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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What 109 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
74% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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BP
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

This is my second time here and both times the service was extremely slow. We were sitting down with a 4 year old for brunch and probably sat for 20 minutes before we were even acknowledged. It was busy, not not all tables were full. Perhaps they were short staffed. Either way, the waitress seemed to be on 20-minute rounds to tables. If you needed something, or, in our case, they forgot to give us a set-up after delivering our food, you had to sit there for a good 20 minutes to get anyone's attention. Not ideal, again, esp with a kid.

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KW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The server was very good, but the overall service was poor. The food came out at different times for each person in the party. Some of the food was cold and under cooked.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

It was ok, a little overpriced for the ambience. Outside was closed for construction, inside is like a hotel lobby.

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OT
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved this special place... thank you... a lovely Thanksgiving!

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MP
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The service was poor. They seemed to forget about us. The food was ok, nothing amazing.

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OT
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food. Was disappointed we were not able to eat outside. We had a reservation but there were no tables with heat lamps available.

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E
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A treat after a gruelling week. Shame it was too cold and wet to enjoy the balcony. It looked stunning.

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L
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 5

The ambiance was amazing but the food was terrible. The photos online are extremely misleading. We ordered the crap dip for an appetizer and it looked like they took some crab out of a packet/can and served it on a plate. It wasn’t even a legit dip, so i sent it back. A lot of the items listed on yelp, they didn’t even have available. I ordered the “bucatini” pasta and it was sooooo salty. I would come here for drinks but that’s about it.

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JF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The guitar player was too loud - he was good but too loud

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S
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server “Diamond” provides us with 5 star service!! Burger was Great.. Gwen salad was “okay”... A little heavy on the dressing.
I would go back!

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f
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for breakfast and were so impressed! I ordered the pancakes which were somehow slightly crispy on the outside yet soft and spongy on the inside. They came with a delicious berry compote. The applewood smoked bacon was nice and thick. My fiancé got the eggs Benedict and raved about the hollandaise sauce. Will definitely be going back again the next time we’re in Chicago. Very swanky hotel and great decor.

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OT
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s a perfect Place to hang with your girlfriends or a quick romantic get away. Just enough chill in the air to realize you’re outside but with sitting between the fire and the heat warmer it’s quite cozy. We sat by the fire but next time I want to sit on one of the couches. Dymond our waiter was super cool. I loved him. He was very friendly and I hope to get him the next time I go there. He and the manager Nolan were very accommodating and catered to our every need. I particularly liked the way Dymond referred to me as “young lady” when I’m obviously over twice his age. This is an amazing ingenuous concept very well executed and I would highly recommend giving it a try!

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OD
Orlando
14 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was delish and the outdoor dining was perfect!

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TM
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Shared a lovely evening with out of town guests. I would highly recommend.

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c
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This outdoor venue is awesome. Our food and wine was good. Service by Diamond and Sergio was excellent.

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PF
New England
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Food mediocre at best and waitress did not get order correct. Overpriced but pleasant environment.

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CW
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at Upstairs at the Gwen. Had hoped to sit on the terrace for lunch but the sun was hot and all the umbrella tables were taken. We opted to sit at the bar. We ordered the Gwen Salad and the burger to share, not expecting anything too special. First of all, they split both orders onto 2 plates, which was very accommodating. The salad has a fried goat cheese ball, curly lettuce, radishes, green beans and avocado. Each bite made me inch closer to heaven! The burger was perfectly cooked on a brioche bun and came with thin crispy french fries. I recommend without hesitation.

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LR
Orlando
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went there for cocktails and small plates for girls weekend in the city. Loved the outdoor terrace, great service and yummy small plates 😊. Would definitely go again!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Birthday drinks!

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M
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

What a shame the service was horrendous .
Food was descent but the outside was not crowded and still the understaffed waiters were busy servicing the indoor crowd . One bartender and a horrible manager who shouldn’t be a manager .
The one waiter we did have was sarcastic and unapologetic . Get with it People.

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JM
Nashville
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff was excellent, view was wonderful. Very accommodating with additions to our reservation.

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OT
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very nice outdoor space for relaxing or chillin’ out. The view is basically non-existent and the air can get a bit stagnant midday because it is surrounded by buildings on three sides. The food is very good and the portions are fairly generous. The mood is very placid and the music is tranquil.

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b
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Nice place with good outside seating but tables not comfortable for dining and way too loud.

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G
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Decided to try Upstairs at the Gwen for lunch with a college friend I hadn’t seen in over 25 years. After being seated and given water, no server appeared until after 20 minutes when we asked the water server to find our waitress. She appeared and took our order. We noticed that surrounding tables had a bowl of snacks but we had none. Club sandwiches and fries were very good. Only the service was sub par. I would try again

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PE
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the experience. Phenomenal cocktails!!

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LH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Good views but I wouldn’t go out of my way to come here. We went for lunch and service was mediocre, food was the same. I’d come back but maybe for night time cocktails. Because it’s in a hotel and near the shopping: it’s fine to experience Chicago, but as a local Chicagoan myself: I would pass.

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SU
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was excellent! She described the menu items in detail and made excellent suggestions. She said she was from Texas and she was adorable!

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KM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

This is a lovely rooftop lounge that is part of the Gwen Hotel. Although we were seated promptly, it went downhill from there. It was a long wait until the waitress made initial contact, coffee was another wait, and food another wait. When food was delivered we did not have utensils, no one checked on us so I had to get up and find utensils myself. About 30 minutes after we received our food a new bus-person came on the floor and we were finally asked about more coffee and water. I don't think anyone was being rude or particularly bad but the service was very uncoordinated. The manager/hostess ultimately comp'd our meal without hesitation which we very much appreciated. So if you want a lovely outdoor space and a mimosa - it's probably just fine.

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j
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service and delicious, reasonably priced food. Will come back!

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C
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful rooftop space with great food and cocktails.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Wish we could have been outside, couldn’t because of weather but other groups were out there.... weird... mmmm?

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

I went for my birthday, and they didn’t do anything special. It was also EXTREMELY loud because of the DJ blasting house music next to the tables on the small outdoor deck.

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CH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Its a lovely space. We ate inside and we were the only ones in the inside restaurant.

Location is convenient, but most people don't realize its there.

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DE
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When I made reservations I had no idea that there would be a lady singing while playing her guitar. She had such an amazing voice and even covered a song I requested. If you decide to dine there make sure to get the dry rubbed mole chicken wings, they had a sweet and spicy taste!!

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Went here for drinks. Service was slow, but friendly. Drinks were interesting with good quality liquor. Value is typical for a hotel bar, pricey. Ambiance is pretty.

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Not very busy but seems like a nice place to grab a drink outside when it is a little more lively. Service and drinks were good.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

An ok evening, service was a little slow, but we had a nice time.

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OT
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

What a great place to take in the sights and sounds of Chicago! A group of us sat out on the deck and enjoyed our cocktails while listening to live music. Drink prices are pretty standard for the city. Would definitely return!

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 5ambience 1

The Gwen reported to open Table that we did not keep our reservation,when in point of fact we arrived at 6:00 sharp and stayed until 10 p.m. , spending nearly 200 dollars on very little food that was mediocre. Our server was good but we won’t be going back or recommending it because of the snafu with the mid-reporting to Open Table.

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OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spent the weekend in Chicago in route to India and Asia with my wife. The ambiance, food and service were amazing. Nara, who waited, on us was extremely nice. She gave us ideas of what to do that evening. Everything was great.

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