About Bottleneck's Chicago Dining
Bottleneck Management was formed with the mission to operate vibrant, high energy, approachable restaurants and taverns in the most dynamic neighborhoods and locations in Chicago.
With an operating philosophy of going beyond customer satisfaction to building customer loyalty, Bottleneck Management has been very successful in giving guests a great first impression and providing returning regulars something to always look forward to.
It all started when two friends from Illinois Wesleyan University decided to leave their respective careers to pursue a passion to become self employed entrepreneurs. Jason Akemann and Nathan Hilding opened Trace, a two story store front tavern in Wrigleyville, in the spring of 2001. Doing much of the aesthetic finishes themselves, and with the help of ever supportive friends and family, they opened just in time for the start of the Chicago Cubs baseball season. Luckily, their good fortune over the years has fared better than the Cubs did.
Four Years of Expansion
In 2007 Jason and Nathan brought on a third partner, and another classmate from IWU, Chris Bisaillon. With the addition of Chris to the partnership Bottleneck’s expansion plans began to take root. In September of 2007, the three partners opened The Boundary at 1932 W. Division St. in the Wicker Park neighborhood.
In September 2009, following The Boundary’s success, the group opened Sweetwater Tavern and Grille, located at 225 N. Michigan Ave. Jason, Nate and Chris had always been driven by opportunity, rather than a time table, and another great opportunity came onto their radar resulting in South Branch. South Branch, located along the south branch of the Chicago River at 100 S. Wacker Dr. opened in March of 2011.
Most recently Bottleneck Management opened Old Town Pour House at 1419 N. Wells St. in March, 2012. This absolutely stunning space has taken on a life of its own very quickly behind the strength of Corporate Executive Chef Paul Katz’s unique and refined menu, and what is currently the largest craft beer selection on draft in the entire City of Chicago.
Currently operating five venues, and with immediate plans for their sixth location, Howells & Hood (located within the Tribune Tower), the group is showing no signs of slowing down. The company’s growth over the past 4 years has been tremendous and has been supported by a very talented team of industry professionals.
Old Town Pour House
Old Town Pour House opened in March of 2012 and features Corporate Executive Chef Paul Katz’s approachable yet refined menu and 90 beers on tap.