By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 16, 2024 at 12:04 PM Photography: Lowcountry

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Since opening in 2021 at 1114 N. Water St., Lowcountry has developed a reputation for conjuring convivial summer days with its menu of seafood offerings best enjoyed in the company of friends and family.

But this year, the Downtown spot will double down on that vibe with a newly reimagined indoor/outdoor space aptly called The Patio.

“From the time we moved in, we saw great potential for activating our patio,” notes co-owner Pan Hompluem. “But we’ve never really full utilized it. We want to engage folks, not only in terms of dining, but in terms of seeing us as a place where they can come and hang out with friends. So, this year, we’ve created a space where people can come and just have fun.”

Entrance to patioX

What to expect

In turn, Hompluem embarked on a two-month renovation to transform the restaurant’s former southern dining room. Once lined with red and white checkered tablecloths, the space now features high-top tables for socializing and a lounge area where folks can play board games or grab a drink and watch the game. 

Bar and seating X

A dedicated bar will offer a variety of fun cocktails including Mojitos, Mai Tais, Hurricanes and Mango Long Island Ice Teas, as well as drinks like the Hennyrita, a Hennessy-based riff on the margarita. Frozen cocktails – including a mango margarita or strawberry daiquiri – will also be available.

To accompany, a curated bar menu will feature offerings like crispy egg rolls (filled with chicken or vegetables), battered cauliflower bites, garlic cheese curds, waffle fries and wings. Lowcountry is also introducing a fish fry featuring cod or catfish served with waffle fries.

Catfish and waffle fries
Catfish and waffle fries
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The indoor dining room, which can be opened up to connect with the restaurant’s spacious outdoor patio, will be a destination for bingo nights, karaoke and live music. Meanwhile, the patio has been enhanced to accommodate summertime fun.

Fire pitX

Guests can lounge with drinks beneath Lowcountry’s spacious gazebo, which is decked out with festoon lights and comfortable, colorful seating. An oversized fire pit will provide a welcome glow, plus warmth on chilly nights as guests enjoy games including beer pong, mini golf and engage in competitive rounds of bag-toss.

Bag tossX

Try it for yourself

The grand unveiling of The Patio will take place on Friday, April 19 from 4 to 9 p.m. During the patio party, guests can enjoy a live DJ set from DJ Anoh plus the full complement of patio games, snacks and beverages. Lowcountry has also partnered with Carbliss handcrafted premium seltzer to offer giveaways, complimentary drinks and more.

"We’re really excited to introduce The Patio," says General Manager Mindy Bongxay. “Our goal was to create a space where our guests could come together, relax, and enjoy great food and drinks in a vibrant atmosphere. Now that we’ve done that, we can’t wait for people to come and enjoy it.”

The Patio is also available to rent for groups up to 120 guests. The space is perfect for casual rehearsal dinners, bachelor or bachelorette parties, corporate gatherings and other festivities.  For more information, email info@lowcountrychicago.com

Guests should keep an eye on Lowcountry’s Facebook and Instagram for news and updates, including the addition of happy hour specials and more.

Lowcountry is open on Mondays from 4 to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.