About Firefly

FiREFLY* Tapas Kitchen & Bar is the perfect spot for your party, meeting, or gathering!

Choose from our many hot and cold plates to assemble a multi-course feast or order in waves and share to enjoy as many flavors as possible

Our house-specialty Sangria marinates for three days and provides the perfect accompaniment to your meal, or check out our list of interesting and affordable wines by the glass, fine brews, and signature cocktails.

At FIREFLY*, our mission is to provide our guests with a unique and stimulating dining experience in a cool, comfortable atmosphere at an affordable price.

Meet the Chef: John Simmons

I began cooking professionally at the ripe old age of 15 years old, prepping cabbage soup and flipping leo omelets and washing dishes at a local deli. I continued to cook my way through high school and college, earning beer money and a degree in economics at the University of Illinois along the way. Despite my enjoyment of the restaurant world, a career in the kitchen never crossed my mind.

After a few years of toiling in an office, however, I decided that there's no place like home and in the kitchen I was home. So I enrolled at Kendall College Culinary School in Evanston, IL and earned my degree in culinary arts. After a year cooking in sunny Sonoma, CA, wine country I returned to Chicago and got a job on the line at a new restaurant opening in my neighborhood, Bistrot Zinc, run by a large and talented rockstar French chef, Rene Bajeux.

Well… I learned a lot from Rene and within 3 years he was gone and I was running Bistrot Zinc, Café Zinc, and opened a second Bistrot Zinc on the Gold Coast.

Shortly thereafter Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises came calling. It seems they were opening a monstrous French Bistro at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and needed a chef. I told them “d’accord” and shipped out to Paris, Las Vegas.

Mon Ami Gabi was an immediate smash hit and became one of the 10 highest grossing restaurants in the country. After 4 years as the executive chef at MAG it was time for me to do my own thing. It was 2003. That’s when Firefly* Tapas Kitchen and Bar was conceived and subsequently born.

Firefly* is centrally located so that restaurant and club and casino employees and entertainers and performers can stop for tapas and sangria after their shifts and also so locals and visitors can hit the Fly* from any corner of town. The eclectic list of tapas and cocktails caught on and we’ve been bangin out covers ever since.

Rock and roll…

View Chef John Simmons in action at