Spend New Year’s Eve in Tokyo (but wake up in Chicago). Join us at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar for a Tokyo-style NYE, complete with all the eating, drinking, dancing (and yes, more eating) you’ve ever wanted—including a special sparkling sake toast at midnight! Union will be transformed into a Tokyo street scene with a guest DJ and live entertainment all night long.

Chef Chao and his team will be creating a variety of chef street stations serving sushi, barbeque and a variety of Union’s signature dishes all night long. There will plenty of food and—drumroll please—a premium OPEN BAR with Union’s hand-crafted cocktails, sake, beer and preselected wines and champagne.


Join Us at The Chef’s Table


Chef Chao is the ultimate Omakase master, and those who are lucky enough to sit at his chef’s table are in for a serious culinary throw down. Yes, we all love the chef’s table for the personal attention, the chef talking to you about your likes and dislikes and creating something just for you. The real score of the evening, though, is what you’re eating: of-the-moment inspirations that the chef is imagining and creating before your eyes.Omakase

To ensure maximum inspiration, we make sure Chao has the freshest ingredients on hand, sourced hours before, then watch that “Wow, I bet I could do something awesome with that” expression come over Chao’s face. Chef’s Table launches on November 15, 2011. Keep reading to learn more about how you can win a free dinner at the table with a very special guest.

Announcing the Fourth Guy in the Booth…

For our latest contest, we teamed up with 3 Guys in a Booth to find a fourth guy/girl to join them in the booth at the 2011 Chicago Beach Polo World Cup, where they’ll be filming a live episode with some delicious eats from Union.

We asked you all to tell us about the sexiest food to eat on a date. Well, we’re very excited to announce the winner of our contest, chosen for his layered, thoughtful response to our request. He’ll be joining James Rhine, Jerry Azumah, and Derrick Hill for an episode shot on location at the Chicago Beach Polo World Cup. How’d he do it? Take a look at his answer, below, as well as the two runners-up. Great job, everyone!


This summer has been, yes, pretty hot, a little stormy… but fun as hell. Somewhere between cocktails at UpBar, heating things up in the kitchen, and tweeting ’til our fingers were numb, the summer seems to have passed us by… but it’s not over yet.

We’ve done it again, friends. Mike, Chao, and the crew at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar are conquering what might just be the final frontier of beach season. It’s an event—a way of life, really—that’s as dangerous as it is exotic, steeped in history and sand, brought to Chicago this year for the very first time. Yes, it’s beach polo.

Image c/o Chicago Beach Polo

We are very proud to announce that Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is an official sponsor of the Chicago Beach Polo World Cup 2011, so obviously we’re celebrating with some free VIP tickets.

Cocktail Profile:Yamato Sling


cocktailprofileyamatosling1The perfect place to try the subject of our latest cocktail profile? UpBar, of course! Our newly launched lounge, set in the upstairs mezzanine, is home to hand-crafted cocktails, 26 sakes, and (of course) some Asian-inspired
finger food and bar snacks.

But, as usual, we’re getting carried away from the topic at
hand: our next cocktail profile. No matter where you’re sipping the Yamato Sling, it’s tasty as hell. It’s sultry
& spicy enough for UpBar, yet delectable as a pre-dinner cocktail downstairs. As a matter of fact, it’s one of Revae’s favoritecocktails on the menu…

Cocktail Profile: Surprise and Delight

cocktailprofilesurpriseanddelightFor the next installment of our cocktail profiles (call it UpBar’s liquored-up version of Facebook), we’re very excited to present to you all Surprise & Delight.In short, think prevalent (but not overpowering) cucumber flavors plus the sweetness of a lemongrass and strawberry muddle. Combine that with a waft of mint and a hint of bubble, and sip away.

While it’s definitely a ‘summery’ drink, we’re pretty sure it would taste just as delicious without the 80º+ weather—but that’s just us.

Cocktail Profile: Night Scene


First of all (and please don’t judge us), can we just say how much fun we’re having with this whole Union thing? Sure, it’s a lot of long hours, and no, we don’t sit down much anymore. But, saying it’s all worth it doesn’t even begin to cover it.

So, on that note, we think it’s time for a nice, cold drink. Specifically, a hand-crafted cocktail. Because, frankly, we’re very proud of our cocktails. Sometimes they’re the opening act, sometimes they’re the whole show—either way, they never cease to delight… satiate… satisfy… you get it.


Call it a tribute to our late-night scene, our riff on the classic martini, whatever you want. We call it delicious. Cocchi Americano and Sobieski Vodka meet our old friend Rock Sake—a perfect choice for blending, according to mixologist Revae Schneider.



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar will be opening its doors for business this Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at 4:00 PM. After many months filled with eating, blogging, drinking, rolling, traveling, cooking, and a bit more eating—we’re ready to go. We hope you are, too.


We’ll see you all at the restaurant. We’ll have a chilled glass of sake and a fresh-from-the-Robata skewer waiting for you.

Cheeky Enough to Chow? Results Are In!

Now that we’re in full-steam-ahead restaurant mode, our vacation days have taken a serious (but very welcome) hit. So, what are two gluttonous globetrotters to do? Live vicariously through our friends on Twitter, Facebook, and beyond, with the help of Cheeky Chicago.

You might have heard about our Are You Cheeky Enough To Chow? contest, the chance for one lucky winner to win a slew of prizes in exchange for their craziest eating adventure. The top 10 finalists joined us last night at Cheeky Chicago’s First Look at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, one of our first official nights in the restaurant (complete with plenty of bites, cocktails, sake, and so on), where the grand prize winner was announced. Just to fill you in, the grand prize winner will not only be receive a 2 night/3 day vacation to San Francisco for two (including a Southwest flight and accommodations at The InterContinental San Francisco), they’ll also be Cheeky’s first San Francisco correspondent.

First Look at Union, As Seen on Eater Chicago

[Photos: Timothy Hiatt Photography, Eater Chicago]

To all of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the opening of Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar—get ready. The robata is fired up, the kitchen’s been stocked, and we’ll be opening up for business THIS WEEK! Until then, feast your eyes on Eater’s first look:

“First Look: Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar Interior & Menu; Scheduled to Open Next Week”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011, by Ari Bendersky

River North is about to get an infusion of some street smarts. Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is scheduled to open sometime next week, but Eater got a sneak peek and the space has a lot of wow factor. When you first enter, you experience a bit of sensory overload and aren’t quite sure where to look. But then your eyes are drawn to the vibrant graffiti art created by artist Solo. The colors (orange, yellow, red, blue, browns) and images exploding from the back wall draw you in as you look beyond the chain-mail sculpture growing out of a console in the center of the room…