Fans were lined up Wednesday morning as Chicago's first Wahlburgers finally opened its doors today in River North. The long-awaited location from Massachusetts-based burger chain by celebrity Mark Wahlberg and brother Paul (executive chef) and Donnie attracted hordes of hungry fans for the 11 a.m. opening at 2 E. Ontario Street.
The interiors celebrate the Wahlberg's celebrity. The ceiling is covered with movie titles the Wahlbergs appeared in, including Boogie Nights and Ted 2, and a reference to Donnie Wahlberg and wife Jenny McCarthy ("Donnie Loves Jenny"). Though the Wahlbergs are proud of their Massachusetts roots, they've also pandered to locals with Chicago decorations including a depiction of the Bean.
The space includes a bar that serves wine, cocktails, and draft beers from local purveyors Three Floyds, Goose Island, and Lagunitas. It also offers the "Wahlbrewski," a custom unfiltered pale ale from Boston-based Harpoon Brewery. Diners can expect thick patties piled with toppings and condiments, including the "O.F.D." ("Originally From Dorchestah"), a half-pound beef patty with sauteed mushrooms, Swiss cheese, bacon, and tomato jam; and a Thanksgiving turkey burger topped with stuffing, orange-cranberry sauce, and roasted butternut squash.
The 5,000 square-foot restaurant is the Wahlberg's 30th in North America.