Our Story

The ownership team behind Fountainhead, Fountainhead Market, and the Bar on Buena is proud to introduce Chicago's first cider focused pub and bistro. While gradually building cider programs at their other establishments, the ownership team began developing such a passion for the beverage, that considering the complete renaissance that the beverage is currently experiencing in the US, led the team to conclude that it was high time this city had an establishment primarily focused on the apple. Given the team's proclivity for travel and visiting the source of the products they champion, trips to Michigan, England, France, and Spain ensued, and the full concept was born - a pub and bistro that would draw influence from all of the great cider producing regions of the world, not only in the beverage offerings, but in the cuisine, in the decor, in the music, and in the approach to serving cider, apple-based spirits, and cocktails combining the two, in an intimate and welcoming setting. With a specific emphasis on influences from Northern France and Southern England, The Northman hopes to bring a truly unique concept to both the cider revolution and the north side of Chicago.

Our Team

Meet the team

Ambrosia Borowski

General Manager

Ambrosia first fell in love with cider about 5 years ago while drinking scrumpy out of dusty old kegs in English pubs. Since that first taste, she has been on the hunt for unique and tasty ciders, finding her home at The Northman. She focuses on the skills of craft cocktails, without forgetting that the main job of a bartender is to serve people.

Her industry career started 10yrs ago in the kitchen. After a few years behind the stove and finishing up culinary school, she jumped behind the bar and hasn't left since. Passionate about education through inebriation, she teaches spirit courses in the city and loves to hold class at the bar. She is a judge at The Great Lakes International Cider Competition and has leant her palette to the Beverage Tasting Institute. She is well traveled across a unique booze landscape, combining an inventive mind and adventurous spirit to create a special beverage experience for our guests. A deep passion for cider shines through her extensive knowledge of processes and product. Away from The Northman, she can be found foraging apples around the city, making cider at home, and traveling by bicycle.
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Brian Rutzen

Cider Director / Floor Manager

When we think cider here in Chicago we think Cider Brian, and so should you. Brian (a Chicago native) has been pouring, selling, drinking, making, and judging cider for 5yrs. Starting the flames of his passion about ten years ago by making small batches of cider at home, through the years he has honed his talent in sales and passion to educate into a full time cider career.

Brian has a background in Library Science and History, which is beautifully obvious in his curation and cataloging of our cider library. The bottles are his books, and the cider inside is the story. Every bottle weaves a tale and tells a history. Outside of The Northman, Brian is an instructor for the inaugural ‘sicera’ cider certification program, as well as a consistent judge for the largest North American cider competition GLINTCAP. You can find him bumping around beer and cider events in and outside of the city. And if you’re ready to geek out about something else besides cider with him, just mention baseball. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
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Jonathan Putman

Director of Restaurant Operations

Jonathan got his first job in the restaurant industry at the age of 18, while getting his BA in theater from Columbia College Chicago. After graduating, he started his own theater company, so naturally his restaurant career continued.

In 2008 he returned to college for a MA in the Art of Teaching. He has taught English in South Korea, China, and Chicago. In 2012 Jonathan joined the Fountainhead team. His 15 years of restaurant experience, as well as his performance and educational background, have been an asset in training and managing staff and creating unique experiences for our guests.
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4337 N. Lincoln Ave.