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Loop's New Food Hall Forum 55 Is Now Open, Slinging Breakfast, Lunch & Buzzed-About Coffee

By Stephen Gossett in Food on Oct 17, 2017 7:11PM

Food-hall mania in Chicago officially has its latest newcomer. Forum 55 (55 E. Monroe St.) doesn't celebrate its grand opening until Monday, but they've gone ahead and kicked off the soft opening this week.

The food-hall market is an increasingly crowded one—not only in Chicago, but definitely in Chicago, and particularly in the Loop. But Forum 55 has a few boons and distinctions by which it aims to set itself apart, including coffee that has earned a reputation as ambrosia for java geeks.

Sparrow Coffee, famed for its roasters' exacting standards and for the most part only available at restaurants like Grace, The Publican and Fat Rice, is among the vendors.

Other promising options include the Butcher & Larder Grill, whose options include a BLT with MightyVine tomato; the Mexican-focused Mercadito Taqueria; and BBQ by Pork & Mindy's.

Another differentiator: visitors order at one of the digital kiosks sprinkled throughout the hall rather than at cashier-manned counters. (Forum 55 is cash-free.)

As previously reported, the hall also includes what Forum 55 touts as one of the biggest salad bars in Chicago, and it'll also feature an incubator to provides resources and support for food businesses owned by women and minorities.

Hours are Monday through Friday (7 to 10 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m for lunch). Its marketplace is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks, and check out the menus here.