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Cold Storage

  • Restaurants
  • West Loop
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Cold Storage is a seafood restaurant within Swift & Sons.
Photograph: Courtesy Cold StorageCold Storage is a seafood restaurant within Swift & Sons.

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The casual oyster bar within Swift & Sons serves pristine seafood

Restaurants within restaurants and bars within bars have been taking off lately—it helps owners maximize space and try out smaller concepts. Recently, Heavy Feather opened inside Slippery Slope and DAS Doner inside the Radler, and now Swift & Sons joins them with Cold Storage. The oyster bar only takes up a fraction of Boka and B. Hospitality’s sprawling steakhouse, but it makes a big impact, with fresh and cooked seafood dishes. 

Start with oysters, which are available by the half or whole dozen or as part of a seafood tower. The perfectly shucked offerings change regularly, and on my visit included bivalves from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, teeming with liquor. Chilled crab legs aren’t on the menu, but ask nicely and you’ll receive fat chunks of crab to dip in horseradish-heavy cocktail sauce or creamy mustard. It’s hard to fill up on raw seafood, so order a refreshing Louie wedge salad with a generous amount of crab, or grilled octopus tentacles atop a bell pepper-nduja spread. The best, though, are the sardines, large, meaty fillets, accented with salsa verde. To eat: Spritz the fish with lemon, then place atop a saltine. End with a sundae or shake from Meg Galus, whose fresh mint ice cream is marvelous. 

Employees of the future West Loop Google office will be able to pop over to Cold Storage for lunch, and the menu includes sandwiches like shrimp banh mi. They’re extra lucky, because they can also head right next door to the steakhouse for dinner.


Atmosphere: The space is small but energetic, with staff shucking oysters behind the bar and TVs showing the Bulls game. It’s a livelier, more relaxed counterpoint to Swift & Sons.

What to eat: Oysters, sardines, wedge Louie.

What to drink: I prefer beer with raw seafood, and the draft beers, including Moody Tongue Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison and Buckle Down’s Painted Turtle, are $5. On the wine front, try a clean Chablis, or start with a cocktail, like the Chase Reefer, an icy mug of bourbon with ginger and pine liqueurs and a hint of lime. 

Where to sit: I always prefer to belly up at the oyster bar, but a handful of tables is also available.

Amy Cavanaugh
Written by
Amy Cavanaugh


1000 W Fulton Mkt
El stop: Pink, Green to Morgan-Lake. Bus: 8, 20.
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat-Sun 4:30-11pm
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