Restaurant/butcher/event space Chop Shop & 1st Ward opens Friday
The Chop Shop and 1st Ward is a combination butcher shop, bar, restaurant and event space in Wicker Park.
Charcuterie goes well with beer and cocktails, and as a first course for dinner. So it makes sense that an in-house butcher shop is just one of the concepts at the sprawling Chop Shop and 1st Ward (2033 W North Ave), a hybrid restaurant/bar/butcher shop/event space that opens on Friday in Wicker Park in a two-level, 15,000-square-foot former auto body shop.
“The concept kind of evolved over the last year and a half,” says co-owner Nick Moretti, who worked with partners Matt Woodburn and Mario Minelli of Minelli’s Meats to open the Chop Shop. “The original plan was to open a salumeria, which translates to an overwhelming assortment of meats and cheeses. Then that morphed into a butcher shop, and we found this building that has a lot of character. It’s 100 years old.”
Moretti says that he worked in the entertainment business in New York producing music, art, fashion and film events and the back half of the warehouse building seemed perfect for an event space. Already, the space has hosted Dose Market and other events are lined up, like film screenings and art shows.