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The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group has officially opened the doors of Kindling | Downtown Cookout & Cocktails, the newest addition and first full-service restaurant offering in Willis Tower’s Catalog, featuring a seasonally rotating menu from Chef Partner Jonathon Sawyer centered around wood-fired cuisine.   

The 17,000 sq. ft. space seats 500 across both indoor and outdoor dining spaces. Lunch service began on January 24, with dinner service following shortly after in early February.The 200-seat, second floor terrace overlooking Adams Street will open this summer. Kindling is open Mondays through Saturdays with lunch and dinner reservations available from 11:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m. Kindling’s happy hour, Tower Hour, is available starting with the opening of lunch service from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. daily.    

Kindling boasts a live fire show kitchen complete with a wood-fire grill that acts as the “heart” of the restaurant space. Chef Sawyer draws inspiration from his international travels and experience with live-fire cooking for Kindling’s menu, which features dishes such as Wood-Fired Oysters offered in four variations, Rotisserie Duck Rigatoni using freshly made pasta, Colorado Lamb Chops and Pastrami Spiced Short Ribs. Lunch service features a condensed menu of wood-fired starters, variations of grilled skewers, sandwiches, and lighter entrees whereas dinner service features a larger menu and large format dining options such as the 24 oz 50 Day Dry Aged Bone-in Ribeye prepared over open flame.   

“The menu really showcases the versatility and depth of the wood-fire grill.” “We have created very unique flavor profiles and unexpected dishes for Kindling’s menu that the public will really enjoy,” said Chef Sawyer. “It has been our goal to bring elevated wood-fired dining to the heart of Chicago since we began developing Kindling’s concept in 2020, and this menu definitely achieves that.” 

Kindling is the latest addition to Catalog, the new retail, dining and entertainment space that was added to the base of Willis Tower as part of its recent $500 million redevelopment. Catalog now includes more than a dozen dining and retail options.  

“The addition of Kindling is truly taking what we’ve built at Willis Tower to the next level,” said Kirsten Ekdahl Hull, Vice President, Portfolio Management, for EQ Office. “It adds a completely new energy and experience to our neighborhood, and we anticipate it will quickly become a go-to destination for our community and visitors, joining Chicago’s world-renowned dining scene.”  

The Fifty/50 Group’s beverage director Julieta Campos leads Kindling’s bar program working in tandem with Chef Sawyer to craft a beverage menu that compliments the deep wood-fired flavors from the grill. Kindling features cocktail recipes developed in-house, such as the Smoke on the Water spritz, as well as classic cocktails from Chicago bars, including the Amaro Sour from Billy Sunday’s. Other beverage offerings include a wine selection and local Chicago craft beers.   

Guests can secure reservations for Kindling through OpenTable. 


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