The Department

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Customer Reviews

857 Ratings

great experience
Cornell H. · November 26, 2013
Great dinner and a fair price.
Karen L. · November 16, 2013
Wonderful place. I'm glad we went, and we will be back.
Barbara W. · November 7, 2013

What You'll Get

Like attaching a fake mustache to a Halloween mask or cleverly changing your name from Obi-Wan Kenobi to Ben Kenobi, adding a new ingredient to a familiar dish can render it unrecognizable. Discover what a difference a taste makes with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of contemporary cuisine and drinks at The Department in Joliet.

High ceilings and an exposed-brick interior create an attractive, loft-like space in which The Department's chefs craft a lunch and dinner menu of creative, eclectic fare. Synchronize your taste buds with the grilled shrimp bruschetta tossed in garlic-wine sauce and served with focaccia crostinis ($9) or a steaming bowl of cheesy chicken-tortilla soup ($4) before attacking a platter of slow-roasted prime rib ($28 for 15 oz.). Otherwise, bury hunger alive with hearty helpings of shrimp pasta tossed with red peppers and mushrooms in a creamy feta garlic sauce ($18.50). Frazzled office workers, meanwhile, can escape the office’s tedious meetings and deadly stapler duels for a lunch of southwest chicken wraps stuffed with black-bean salsa ($9), and caribbean shrimp salad ($9). An aged beef-tenderloin sandwich topped with caramelized onions and portobello mushrooms ($12) or a black-and-blue burger crowned with gorgonzola and spices ($9) keeps one hand open for impromptu cliff-dangling.

Named in honor of local police and firefighters, The Department adorns its 100-year-old building with the tools of the trade, such as self-twirling batons and foam-dome fire helmets for putting out fires at baseball games. Live music on Friday nights adds to the lively atmosphere. On Saturday, revelers can sidle up to the lengthy bar and knock back a couple of signature cocktails such as the Fire Hydrant (pomegranate vodka, Pama liquor, and orange juice; $8) or the Big Smoke (orange rum, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, and 7-Up; $8) before setting up their own gyration station in front of the live DJ.


Eleven Yelpers give The Department an average of 3.5 stars, TripAdvisors give an average of 3.5 owl eyes, and 70% of Urbanspooners like it:

  • The food was absolutely delicious, the staff was so nice, not pushy at all and very attentive without interrupting the flow of conversation. – Becca H., Yelp, 8/11/09
  • The decor is just wonderful. I love the brick walls with the old painted words. – MaryBeth050, TripAdvisors

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Aug 23, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per table. Limit 1 per visit. Dine-in only. Must use in 1 visit, no cash back. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

About The Department

Named in honor of local firefighters and police, The Department's restaurant and liquor lounge serve modern cuisine in a loft-style space outfitted with exposed-brick walls, gleaming wood floors, and an abundantly stocked bar. In preparation for the dinner rush, waiters flip crisp white cloths to hide tables’ risqué tattoos while chefs fire up the grill and stir marinades for gourmet steaks, pork loin, and seafood plates. House specialty dishes reflect the chef's meticulous attention to detail; the Cajun rib eye basks in a marinade for 48 hours, and the crab-stuffed tilapia offsets the rich seafood with a white-wine sauce. At lunch, a menu of gourmet sandwiches and burgers fosters casual meals. Fridays see live acoustic entertainment filling the air with quarter notes as bartenders work hard shaking potent cocktails and luring corks out of wine bottles with maraschino cherries. Those craving al fresco eats during warmer months may dine on The Department's tree-lined, second story balcony.

By purchasing this deal you'll unlock points which can be spent on discounts and rewards. Every 5,000 points can be redeemed for $5 Off your next purchase.