Guinness recently revealed the opening of a 15,000-square-foot, socially-driven, community-driven bar in the city’s Fulton Market.
It’s the second venue of the brand new neighborhood hub concept that Diageo’s beer brand will roll out throughout America. The United States.
The ground will be broken this fall, and the expected opening date will be St. Patrick’s Day 2023. Fitting–“St. Patrick’s Day is a significant event in our world,” Says Jay Sethi Diageo’s CMO. Diageo also played a part in the unique coloring of the River this year.
In the year 2018, Guinness launched its first American outlet located in Baltimore, Maryland. Since opening, the taproom-slash-brewery has welcomed over 900,000 visitors and turned out 250 small-batch brews.
Although the Chicago facility will feature beer-brewing capabilities, Guinness’s iconic Stout will not be produced at the location. Instead, the company will focus on exceptional beers made using a brewing system with 10 BBL. The small-batch varieties will be offered in the full-service restaurant and 300 seats in the long-vacated Pennsylvania Railroad Depot. The building will provide 75 jobs in taproom operations.
“Chicago is a unique place,” Sethi, who is Sethi, a Chicago native, over the phone. “It’s among the largest markets in the country and the second-largest market in the nation,” Sethi says the company will collaborate with local artists and chefs to craft brews that are reflective of local communities, such as an edgy Mexican beer that is influenced from Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
The taprooms are a massive shift towards on-premises after throwing off the restaurant and bar scene after an entire year. “We believe that the concept of on-premise will return,” says Sethi. “In many ways, it already exists, and it’s our job to contribute to it. To prove that we’re making a substantial investment in Baltimore and Chicago.” Chicago as well as Baltimore neighborhoods.”
The brand has completely revamped its West Loop property, allowing for all safety considerations to be considered. “We have acquire a lot of knowledge in the past year about how to run an efficient taproom regarding safety, logistics, and security,” Sethi says. Sethi. “How to make customers feel that they’re getting the proper safety measures regarding cleanliness, space as well as menu ordering and so on. We’ve mastered this over the past year.”
Each of the Baltimore locations and the upcoming Chicago stronghold for the brand will focus on partnership and integration into local communities.
“In Baltimore, we have given a million dollars to the city to support various projects in the economy,” Sethi continues. “What I am most happy about is a set of beers that we made with diverse, innovative, talented individuals who the city would appreciate, such as Black is Beautiful[a collaboration initiative within the beer industry that aims to raise awareness to the racial discrimination. One hundred percent of the gains go to local foundations supporting the reform of police brutality.”
“With Chicago, we want to build on the work we’ve already started at Baltimore,” Sethi notes, “Which is to come into a city in the right attitude and be good neighbors and to work with the people in the city. We’re looking for local partners to take on projects for the city as a whole. Chicago could be the starting point to take in this.”
Guinness provided a $1 million community fund to support Baltimore’s Black community, supporting Visit Baltimore Education and Training Foundation Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Job Opportunities Task Force, Maryland Food Bank, and the Baltimore Action Legal Team.
“The second thing would like to emphasize in Baltimore is that, during the epidemic, there was a time that we weren’t able to produce enough beer as that you can think of,” says Sethi. “So we began to create bread using the materials we had, as well as the staff we hired. To fight food insecurity, We made more than 500,00 loaves for the Baltimore food bank. We’re planning to build a bakery to keep this up with Chicago.”
“Essentially,” says Sethi, “the entire ethos of the way we view Chicago is about the ways we can be an excellent neighbor and respect Chicago’s city.”