Sweetwater – A Big Step Up From Bennigans


Sweetwater is a good place for holiday parties.

I found myself at Sweetwater Tavern and Grille the other night for the second time in roughly a month, and as I enjoyed my meal and an excellent beer, I decided that it was worth a mention. Located in the Illinois Center on Michigan Avenue, it’s a marked step up from the Bennigans that used to occupy the same space. Sweetwater is essentially an upscale sports bar with a complete menu and an extensive beer list — a nice happy hour spot that lends a touch of class.

Although there’s always a game on, and TVs are easily seen from almost every seat, the screens don’t dominate the space. It’s a comfortable place for a bite, and even when it’s crowded it’s conducive to conversation. In fact, private rooms are  available for groups, and they’d be perfect for a casual holiday party of 20 or so.

I’ve tried all of the appetizers on the menu, and each one was solid, but not spectacular.  I’ll tell you what is really good though… the turkey burger.  It’s consistently one of the best I’ve tried.  And the the tater tots? Well, you just can’t go wrong there! I’ve also heard that the grilled cheese and tomato soup is good.

Unfortunately, I’ve always been too full to sample their one dessert, but it does intrigue me.  It’s a cookie dough skillet. But isn’t that just a skillet cookie in the end? It makes you wonder. I’ll have to try it and report back.

Sweetwater Tavern and Grille
225 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 698-7111

  1. Kristen left a comment on December 4, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I can’t look at this restaurant without thinking of a great donut shop in Kalamazoo Michigan also called Sweetwaters. BEST donuts ever, 24 hours a day and just 2 short hours from Chicago! I don’t work for them or anything, just constantly long for them here in Chicago.

  2. Krista left a comment on December 6, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    When I was living in my corporate apartment at Millennium Plaza, I ate at Sweetwater all the time. I found the service to be really on-the-ball and I like their salads, although the steak in the Black & Blue is not blue enough for me. It’s very medium-well. The TVs are a bit disconcerting too!

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