All-Day Jewish-Inspired Cafe, Half Sour, Opens In Printer’s Row

A new all-day cafe has officially opened in Printer’s Row. Half Sour, a Jewish-influenced cafe with deli accents, has embraced the spotlight of the South Loop corner that was once Blackie’s, an American Pub which closed down in June 2017.

The cafe, which opened on December 15, is apart of the growing trend of what The Chicago Tribune calls newish Jewish-style restaurants. Additional restaurants that have been popping up as part of the trend include Steingold’s, Milt’s Extra Innings, and Norm’s Deli.

Half Sour co-owners Emily and Jesse Bloom, with operating partner Elizabeth Norris, worked together at the Jefferson Tap and Grille before they were inspired to open the new cafe. The deli influence stems from Jesse’s family who ran Mort’s Deli, a Jewish deli in Minnesota.

The name from the cafe comes from the restaurant’s half sour pickles. “A half sour pickle is fermented for only one to three days,” said Norris to The Chicago Tribune. “So it’s more of a salted cucumber instead of a dill pickle. So it’s crisp, bright green and crunchy.”

According to Eater Chicago, Half Sour is proving to the City in a Garden that Jewish delis are sustainable as ever. What’s more, those of Jewish heritage will be able to enjoy culturally-inspired food they may otherwise only experience on a Birthright trip, which tens of thousands of American 18-to-26-year-olds attend every year.

Dishes that are artfully crafted by executive chef Greg Hageli, a former pastry chef of Band of Bohemia, include latkes with applesauce and creme fraiche, whitefish croquettes on dill aioli, and chopped liver with onion jam. The cafe also serves bagels, sandwiches, and avocado toast.

Those looking to feed a group might consider ordering Half Sour’s fish tower. The tower includes bagels, half sours, house-smoked sturgeon, lox, mussels, pickled mackerel, nori chips, black cod salad, and smoked trout onion dip to bring it all home. Half Sour also has a children’s menu including half corned beef on rye as well as avocado toast on challah.

Half Sour is located at 755 S. Clark St. and is open until 2 AM. For more information on specials, contact the cafe at 312-224-1772 or visit their website at www.halfsourchicago.com.