First Full-Service Restaurant Coming to Catalog

October 11, 2021

FIFTY/50 GROUP AND EQ OFFICE WELCOME FIRST FULL-SERVICE RESTAURANT IN WILLIS TOWER'S "CATALOG"

Kindling, the live-fire culinary concept featuring local purveyors will reignite the Loop, making the workplace a destination

CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- EQ Office announced today that Chicago's Fifty/50 Group will debut the first full-service restaurant at Willis Tower. Kindling, a char-house style culinary experience, will offer an urban oasis and convivial atmosphere in the heart of Downtown Chicago. Slated for 2022, Fifty/50 Group's latest concept will occupy a two-story space and outdoor terrace at the corner of Franklin St. and Adams St., as part of Willis Tower's Catalog, Willis Tower's expansive and immersive dining, retail and entertainment experience.
The concept will present an engaging style of cooking with a large wood-burning grill that will serve as the hearth and heart of the main floor. Executed by Simeone Deary Design group, patrons will be surrounded by elements of nature and will enjoy curated artwork, lawn games and craft cocktails. On level 2, overlooking Adams Street, guests can take in an unbeatable outdoor dining experience in the Loop.

"Willis Tower is the perfect location for our group's newest concept as we seek to infuse the sights, sounds, and aromas of the city to bring back warm memories of family and community—something our guests have missed most during the pandemic," said Scott Weiner, Co-owner of the Fifty/50 Group. "Whether you're a professional looking to entertain, a visitor of the Tower's world-renowned Skydeck, or resident seeking to rediscover the vibrance of the Loop, we want our guests to be invigorated by our bold flavors and the awe-inspiring views you get from an oasis hidden in between skyscrapers."

At the core of its menu, the restaurant will emulate Midwestern favorites and thoughtful ingredients at an approachable price point. Guests can expect fare like rotisserie chicken, brisket, and halibut. The cocktail program will reflect the business friendly yet playful atmosphere of the concept, focusing on classics and patio favorites.

"For our first full-service restaurant, we sought out prominent restaurant operators in Chicago that reflect Willis' ethos and would complement our vision. We met and quickly fell in love with Fifty/50's concept. The name of the restaurant, Kindling, refers to our shared purpose - to kindle new connections and inspire new relationships," said David Moore, Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director at EQ Office. "With a live fire cookout and park-like experience, Kindling will be serving one of a kind dishes while pulsating with spontaneous energy and lively social interaction that you can't get through Zoom. This is the perfect extension to the kind of experience that we're creating at Willis for our customers and guests."

Willis Tower is completing a more than $500 million renovation project, the biggest restorative transformation in the building's 48-year history. The concept is Catalog's first full-service restaurant, and joins the Tower's impressive line-up of culinary offerings, including Rick Bayless' Tortazo, Lettuce Entertain You's Sushi-san, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken, and Brown Bag Seafood Co. Visit www.WillisTower.com for more information.

The Fifty/50 Group is one of Chicago's fastest growing hospitality groups and owns and operates 14 dynamic restaurants and bars across the city, including the Berkshire Room, West Town Bakery, Utopian Tailgate, and Steadfast.

About EQ Office
EQ focuses on the experience of its 29 million square feet - how space feels, activates and performs to amplify the human experience. We're proud to work hand-in-hand with more than 1,500 customers of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to emerging startups, to bring humanity back to the workplace. Our diverse team of 200+ professionals is responsible for creating inspired office environments in major cities across the country including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. As a U.S. office portfolio company wholly owned by Blackstone's real estate funds, we have the resources to lead the changes happening in the work space. Explore your space for greatness at www.eqoffice.com.

About Willis Tower
Located at 233 S. Wacker Drive in the heart of downtown Chicago, Willis Tower is an urban destination and state-of-the art workplace that welcomes prominent businesses ranging from law firms to large airline corporations to insurance companies. Standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall, Willis Tower has the region's most breathtaking views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Willis Tower's Skydeck attracts more than 1.7 million visitors each year with its inviting hospitality and memorable experiences, all under one roof. In early 2017, Blackstone and Equity Office announced plans for the biggest restorative transformation project in the building's 48-year history. The $500 million renovation project now underway includes the addition of Catalog, a more than 300,000 square-feet curated dining, entertainment and community experience, as well as a 30,000 square-feet outdoor deck and garden, evolving at the base of the tower. The Catalog name is a historical nod to Willis Tower's original developer and owner, Sears Roebuck, and its popular printed catalog, which was a retail disrupter of its age. Catalog offers an effective way to experience great content, products and experiences. New tenants are now opening in Catalog, and this will continue through its completion in mid-2020. The Tower renovation also includes 150,000 square feet of new tenant amenity spaces. As part of the renovation, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Willis Tower the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for energy efficiency upgrades made throughout the Tower. Willis Tower was also recently named to the Illinois Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Illinois' 200 Great Places list. For more information, visit www.WillisTower.com and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Fifty/50 Group
Founded in 2008, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is a fun-loving group of individuals responsible for creating several diverse restaurant and bar concepts across Chicago. Through hard work and innovation by the principals and partners, the group either owns or manages 14 establishments since its inception 14 years ago.
The founding of The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group was the result of the partnership between Scott Weiner and Greg Mohr, who became great friends and coworkers in 2003 when they began working together with Lettuce Entertain You. With the opening of The Fifty/50 in Wicker Park, they found themselves at the forefront of Chicago's growing restaurant and bar movement and have yet to slow down opening Chicago fixtures such as Roots Handmade Pizza, West Town Bakery, Utopian Tailgate, and the Berkshire Room.

The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group is one of Chicago's fastest growing restaurant groups due to their amazing people who go above and beyond as well as the hard working and dedicated partners who constantly push to be the best in their field. The group continues to focus on new restaurant concepts and locations within Chicago as well as other cities across the US.