About Ovie Bar and Grill
A Fulton River District Restaurant and Bar
Located in Chicago’s developing Fulton River District restaurant, OVIE Bar & Grill serves as a neighborhood hot-spot to give locals and those traveling through the Ogilvie Metra Station a place to sit back, relax and enjoy contemporary dishes along with a full bar.
OVIE is a combination of a full service restaurant featuring seasonal dishes,a raw bar and in-house smoked specialties, a 40-seat bar with signature cocktails and a grab & go express for the person on the go who needs to catch their train, creating a new destination at the entrance to the West Loop. OVIE believes in fine food and drinks with a neighborhood atmosphere.
Mark Chmielewski began his culinary career twenty-eight years ago as a baker in Connecticut where he grew up. This experience reinforced his interest in the world of food and left him wanting more. He entered the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduation in 1988 Chmielewski moved to Manhattan New York to sharpen his culinary skills. There he worked as a cook in some of the city’s best known kitchens under some of the best known chefs such as: Michael Romano at Le Caravel and Daniel Boulud at Le Cirque. After a brief stint at the Phoenician in Phoenix, Arizona, Chmielewski moved back to New York City to work for David Burke at The River Café in Brooklyn, NY. When Chef Burke opened Park Avenue Cafe in Manhattan, Chmielewski went with him as his a.m. saucier.
In 1994 Chef Burke asked Chmielewski to move to Chicago to open Park Avenue Café as one of his sous chefs. This experience began a love affair with the city of Chicago which Chmielewski has made his primary residence ever since.
After working for Burke for nearly a decade, Chmielewski got his first break as the opening Executive Chef of Toque Restaurant in the west loop area on Randolph Street. The Chicago Tribune touted Toque Restaurant as “a restaurant to be reckoned with.” Chmielewski left Toque to become Executive Chef of The Signature Room at the top of the Hancock Center.
In 2003 Chmielewski moved his family to Vail, Colorado where he was Executive Chef at The Lodge at Vail. During Chmielewski’s tenure there, Zagat Survey claimed that The Lodge at Vail’s Wildflower Restaurant was “the number one restaurant in Vail” as well as one of the “Top 10 restaurants in Colorado.”
Chmielewski returned to Chicago in 2005 to take over the reins of Blue Water Grill Chicago, B.R. Guest’s first venture in the Windy City. Here Chicago Magazine rated Blue Water as “the best new seafood restaurant” in their 2006 annual review.
For the past 10 years Chmielewski has honed his culinary skills and successfully integrated the business aspects of the executive chef role. Consistently being able to satisfy the customer and understanding what it takes to accomplish this on all levels. Having a restaurant of his own has been a goal of Chmielewski’s for many years. His depth of experience and the refinement of all he has learned led to his desire to do just that. He will bring to this venture his skills in selecting the freshest and finest foods and prepare them with creativity, yet simplicity. He will create an atmosphere that is relaxed, yet refined and the refinement of all he has learned as a chef will set the tone for his restaurant to be a place where guests will feel welcome and at home each time they patronize it.