About Upstairs at The Gwen

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.

The Gwen Hotel
521 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Farm-to-table

Hours of Operation:
Circa Restaurant
Breakfast: 6:30 am - 11am

Upstairs at the Gwen
11 am -12 am (Sun-Thurs)
11 am-1 am (Fri-Sat)

Upstairs at The Gwen, an outdoor dining experience (seasonal; weather permitting),
Sunday through Thursday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:00 am - 12:00 am

Cross Street:
Between Grand Ave. & Illinois St.

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(312) 645-1500 ext. 4800

Website:
http://www.thegwenchicago.com/

Parking Details:
We do not validate parking.

Public Transit:
CTA: Red Line Train ("Grand" Stop)
Bus: 147, 148, 151, 145, 146, 3, 157

Executive Chef:
Matt Jergens

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

Special Events & Promotions:
Join us for live music every Wednesday and Friday

Private Dining

Conveniently located off the Magnificent Mile, The Terrace Restaurant evokes a relaxed environment for you to host anything from your next corporate event to family celebration.

Upstairs at The Gwen Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.5

service

3.3

ambience

4.2

value

3.5

Noise

Quiet

71% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Scenic View (3)
Good for Groups (2)
See All
Late-night Find (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Casual (1)
Good for a Date (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
People Watching (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Romantic (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
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47 reviews
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vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 22, 2017

We visited after a show at the Chicago Theater. We'd eaten a very late lunch so we weren't starving, but wanted to have a light meal and some drinks. What a beautiful outdoor space, and even on this gorgeous night wasn't wall-to-wall people (but nicely full and lively). Loved the fire feature. Loved our cocktails. We shared a fantastic cheese plate and huge, delicious salad. I would definitely go here again.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Scenic View, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Service was poor. We were not greeted and just sat ourselves. Took a long time for a server to greet us and get menus and then even longer for our order to be taken and then a long time to receive our drinks. The atmosphere was very nice but was also very pricey. Not worth the price of drinks and poor service

Tags: Scenic View
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food2
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Unique selection of cocktails, great food, and lovely ambiance. Excellent service. Would love to see an expanded menu of entrees. A little on the expensive side, but we would definitely go back! :)

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 2, 2017

I unfortunately did not get to dine or get a drink at the restaurant. Apparently they scheduled a private party and I was not notified. I specifically came in from the suburbs for that night to meet a friend. We arrive for a reservation and are then told there is a private party. This was Labor Day weekend, we were just told sorry and turned away. We basically had to just walk around and find somewhere else to go. I could have made a reservation elsewhere if I had known. I was extremely upset

2 people found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 27, 2017

This isn't our favorite outdoor spot in the city! Great service, food, drinks, ambiance, and view.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Quiet Conversation, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 25, 2017

We were in town for a girls day and happened to stumble on this gem. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, our server (sorry i don't remember her name) and the atmosphere. Would definately recommend and go back.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 12, 2017

This was a very chic place with a great view of the city. The food was great as well as the ambience. I will definitely return.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on July 31, 2017

I overall enjoyed my visit , the decor from the lobby, to the lounge/bar, to the outside where superb! The view was a little lackluster for me, I was under the impression that the rooftop would have a better view of the city but I still enjoyed it. They had a lot of near by parking options and the location was easy to get to. The food was tasty and had a decent price point. The positives end there... they had TVs playing Big Bang Theory which killed the mood for me. I was not amazed by the service, we felt forgotten majority of the time. My biggest pet peeve was the amount they charged ($42!) for a bottle of cheap wine that I could buy at the store for $15 like come on.. when I'm about to drop $150+ on a dinner for 2 I better have great service, good food, and a good glass of wine if not then it's no better than going to a Dave and Busters but save some money.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Seasonal, Romantic, Quick Bite, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Casual, Happy Hour, People Watching
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food3
ambience5
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Horrible service, sat for 20 minutes before a waiter came to take order for drink, brought or drinks then didn't come back for a half hour to take food order, needless to say, we didn't stay for food

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food1
ambience5
service1

 
 (Adelaide / SA)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Could have been better. The waitress didn't really know what she was doing. The food was fine but took a super long time to bring out to us. They charge $42 for a bottle of wine that is $12 in grocery stores. Not ideal.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

vip
 (Detroit)·Dined on July 16, 2017

The service was really slow. My wife ordered a burger and fries and it was over an 1 hour and a half. The restaurant wasn't even busy so I'm not sure why it took so long. I recommend going to the food court next door to get food. It's a lot faster and cheaper.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 23, 2017

The food was terrible, with the exception of the hot wings. The drinks were subpar. Service was POOR. Took us about 30 minutes to get a drink and about 45 minutes to get our food. We had to ask for EVERYTHING, including menus. The place was not crowded, and it seemed to be only one waitress.

Tags: Scenic View, Romantic
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food1
ambience5
service1
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 11, 2017

Waitstaff was courteous but we had to tell the bartender to get someone to even acknowledge that we were seated at a table. Food was nothing special and the noise level made conversation difficult. Since we were meeting hotel guests we thought it would be convenient but were generally disappointed by the meal and the experience.

Tags: Casual
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food2
ambience2
service2
value3

vip
 (Detroit)·Dined on June 7, 2017

Only had drinks, but they were very good, nice space to get our doors for an after dinner drink or to meet a client.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 4, 2017

service was slow on the day i went, but it was one server for the entire outside which was unfair to her so we did our best to be patient. prosecco popsicles are a must..gorgeous outdoor roof. quiet (not like the crowd at Cindy'). Underated overall, I think this place is great for girls night, brunch or a date!

Tags: People Watching, Sunday Lunch, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Happy Hour, Romantic, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quick Bite
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 2, 2017

When I arrived my table was not available because the terrace was closed to a private party. It was very poor form that they had not notified me of this change when I had put in my reservation request specifically that I wanted to be outside. It was the first beautiful day in Chicago so I knew that all of the local places would be booked up and I made this reservation ahead of time. Had I known the terrace would be closed I would have booked somewhere else. They gave us a free champagne which was nice and we had good service. They should have notified us though.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food4
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on April 25, 2017

We had to wait over an hour for our food to arrive after our order was placed for a group of 5 persons. Only one other 2 person group in the restaurant at the same time we were there durring lunch. Unacceptable delay. The food was good, service poor.

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food5
ambience4
service1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on March 1, 2017

The restaurant was closed. When I called hotel to make reservations they told me the only way to do so was through Open Table. Made reservations and got to the restaurant and the restaurant was closed.

Called the General Manager and complained. So I have to give it a thumbs down for very poorly managed restaurant and hotel management!

Why have reservations available and the restaurant closed?

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Nice & upscale, the food was amazing & it was very peaceful.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Casual, Cozy, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Came here for brunch. Was nothing special. Service a bit slow. Price very high.

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food3
ambience2
service2
value1

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on December 23, 2016

The food was very good. The service was extremely slow. We had a great server. He was just serving the entire restaurant.

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food4
ambience2
service1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 27, 2016

I asked for a quiet space in my reservation and there were two big parties going on when we arrived. I wish I had been told this in advance. It was a Thursday evening business meeting.

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food2
ambience2
service4
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 14, 2016

The service is not bad like all these other reviews are saying. Out waiteress and the rest of the staff was very pleasant. I just didnt like the fact that they make Circa and Upstairs at the Gwen seem like 2 different places when they are both the same place and have the same menu. Very disappointing. The food overall was very good. None of their heat lamps work though.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 14, 2016

My daughters were in town from Tucson. Wanted to see a scenic rooftop where we could actually make a reservation. Wings were ggod, Poke was fresh, but the gelee was odd and added a strange texture. Crab dip was good. Server was overly entertaining, but friendly and efficient.

Tags: Hot Spot, Quick Bite, Scenic View
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 17, 2016

I was disappointed that it took me 5 phone messages and me calling them in one last ditch effort to see if I could add 2 people to my reservations. The party of 12 I was with ended up going but they had the terrace closed, which is why we were going in the first place. The service was subpar, the food was fine but not amazing and the pop-tails were good. The server neglected to tell us before we ordered that they would not be able to split the check on more than 4 credit cards. We spoke to the manager, and she was kind to take off a few items from our order for the inconvenience of the terrace mix up and lack of communication from them on the reservations. Overall I would only go back if I was staying at the hotel itself and then only for drinks.

Tags: Casual, Happy Hour
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food3
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 17, 2016

Great drinks, atmosphere and service. An overall great experience. Sergio was excellent!

Tags: Scenic View, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 1, 2016

Loved the rooftop with it's long firepit/table. Great setting! Enjoyed our wines and cheeseboard. Staff attentive but not bothersome.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 29, 2016

Loved it!!!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 27, 2016

We enjoyed being outside but it was hot. Looking forward to cooler fall nights and the fire pits.

Tags: Quick Bite, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Great ambiance, service was not very good but the staff looked a bit overwhelmed. The main course (skirt steak) was very good, appetizers not so much.

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food2
ambience5
service2

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Our group did not want to sit outdoors due to the humidity, so the hostess sat us at a large table in the lobby area. The service was very slow and our server was no where to be found when we needed him. Further, the bill took forever to come and when we finally were ready to settle up, it took over 20 min to bring our cards back. There were people in our party that needed to leave and couldn't until their cards were given back. Further, the cards were not charged until the following morning. Circa needs more time and training in order to get things together before they can provide the service and attention to detail that a Chicago restaurant should have.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 13, 2016

We came purposely for the famous Poptails cocktails. However, we were very disappointed to find out that they were unable to serve them as they did not have Popsicles ready for the drink. It was 7pm on a Saturday and not very crowded. It was very disappointing that they did not have what was needed for the drink. When asking how long it would be, we kept getting run around answers and ultimately decided to leave. It's a shame because the food looked delicious too, but we came for the Poptails. I don't understand why they didn't have everything ready for them. It was 7pm on a Saturday. I could understand if we went at more like 10pm or on a weekday, but it is the weekend and 7pm is a popular dinner time where guests would hope to get the popular poptails drink.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 9, 2016

had a good time until it took our server 40 minutes to get our bill and for us to pay for everything... totally unacceptable.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on July 31, 2016

Comfortable area. Great brunch. Service was a little slow. Server was helpful and very nice.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 2, 2016

Loved the popsicle drink

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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Austin)·Dined on June 30, 2016

Our waiter sucked, forgot to bring our shit out, it was loud, tables were not nicely put together, would not recommend.

Tags: People Watching
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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 28, 2016

Will not attend this restaurant again or recommend it. Wildly overpriced, poor quality, mediocre setting.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 16, 2016

I went for lunch, so yes it was a bit quiet. I was so impressed by the space - I can't wait to come back for an evening out with my husband or GNO. Wonderful service. The menu was great (lunch). We had the Poptail, which we enjoyed. Overall, just wonderful. Definitely will return - most likely for early evening/night. Though this was a fantastic choice for lunch outdoors :)

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 1, 2016

Fantastic new dining option on the Magnificent Mile. I can't wait to try out the terrace with the beautiful fire features!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 22, 2016

Service wasn't good. Wasn't that busy but to them I guess it was. Ambiance could be way better. Server clueless. Bummer could be a hidden rooftop hangout.

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food1
ambience2
service2

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