LINCOLN PARK — One of the lakefront’s finest and most festive food establishments has reopened for the summer season.
The Patio at Cafe Brauer has thrown open its doors adjacent to Lincoln Park Zoo’s Nature Boardwalk, at 2021 N. Stockton Drive.
The restaurant is typically open from April through October, although the prevailing weather can either add to that or curtail it on either end.
The former zoo snack shop upgraded its menu a few years ago and now offers appetizers including calamari, salads including a kale Caesar and burgers and paninis, as well as a full bar with craft beer on tap.
The weekend brunch includes pancakes, eggs, chilaquiles and again salads, burgers and sandwiches.
But don’t bother trying to make a reservation for Mother’s Day on Sunday; it’s already booked up.
The patio also offers live music Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m., beginning at the end of the month, programmed by the Old Town School of Folk Music. Music will occasionally be offered on Tuesdays as well.
The building itself is considered a Prairie School masterpiece, designed by Dwight Perkins, who also did the nearby zoo Lion House, Theater on the Lake and the North Pond Cafe building. With its Great Hall above the restaurant, Cafe Brauer remains one of the city’s most popular sites for weddings and other events, booked at prices up to $9,500 a night.