It’s been a busy few weeks for Logan Square’s bar and restaurant scene, with plenty of comings and goings, so here’s a rundown on what’s been happening in the neighborhood.
Surf Bar Closes Its Doors To Reconcept
Emporium Arcade has closed its beach themed bar, Surf (2367 N. Milwaukee Ave.). The Chicago Tribune reported that the space will be transformed into Branca Bar, a darker, laid back, lounge space with a menu inspired by Fernet-Branca. Jared Saul, Emporium’s beverage director, revealed that the space next to the arcade was always meant to host pop-up concepts, and Branca Bar will be no exception. The bar is slated to open February 1 and will run for two to three months. Branca Bar pays homage to Chicago’s tight-knit bartending community and plans to feature a rotation of bartenders throughout its tenure.
Owen + Alchemy Closes; Limitless High Definition Coffee & Tea Opens
Owen + Alchemy (2355 N. Milwaukee Ave.). closed their doors earlier this month. Anne Owen, the owner of Logan Square’s premier source for innovative, healthy juices and beverages, posted the news on the company’s Facebook page. Owen plans to focus on “wholesale R&D and the evolution of healthy, sustainable and conscious beverages.” In the meantime, Eater reported that Matt Matros, the man behind Protein Bar, took over the O + A space to open a storefront/training location for his own healthy beverage venture, Limitless High Definition Coffee & Tea. Owen, a friend of Matros, will also collaborate with Limitless to develop more plant-based beverages. Limitless will initially concentrate on health-driven drinks such as mushroom lattes and kava lattes, but he plans to later expand the menu to include food.
Mi Tocaya Opens In Former Catalpa Kitchen
Diana Dávila’s new Mexican restaurant, Mi Tocaya Antojería (2800 W. Logan Blvd.), will be a family affair. According to Chicago magazine, the former Cantina 1910 chef found inspiration in her family’s cooking and her experiences growing up in and around her parents’ suburban taqueria, where Dávila says they had a “kids’ office” to spend their time. The menu will include antojos, Mexican-inspired tapas, as well as a selection of small, medium and large plates. Dávila’s dishes draw on her family’s recipes — the caldo res is a tribute to her father’s beef stew, but her take will incorporate bone marrow, short rib and brisket, and the house-made tortillas are a reflection of her grandmother’s. And her family’s presence won’t just be in the menu; Dávila’s two children will have their own “kids’ office,” and her parents — who recently closed their final restaurant — will be around to help.
Furious Spoon: First Two Way Lounge, Now Nail Style
The Logan Square outpost of Furious Spoon made waves when it took over the neighboring Two Way Lounge with plans to re-open as Deadbolt Bar (2412 N. Milwaukee Ave.). As reported by Eater, Deadbolt aims to be a “low-key, comfortable, affordable spot” highlighting classic cocktails, classic bar food and a classic bandstand for the occasional live show. As noted by DNAinfo, these plans have now expanded to include the adjacent nail salon (2416 N. Milwaukee Ave.), which will be transformed into a craft cocktail bar. The owners of Furious Spoon have been working with Moneygun’s Dustin Drankiewicz to develop both bars.
Ale Syndicate Brewers and Arcade Brewing Shutter
Ale Syndicate Brewers and Arcade Brewing (2601 W. Diversey Ave.) have closed their doors after losing their lease. The Chicago Tribune reported that Ale Syndicate and Arcade maintained an alternating proprietorship at the Diversey Avenue location, allowing both breweries to take turns using the same equipment, even though the lease was only in Ale Syndicate’s name. Both breweries were forced to close when Ale Syndicate failed to make rent payments. Ale Syndicate owner, Samuel Evans, hopes to brew once again this year via another alternating proprietorship. Arcade founder, Chris Tourre, has not confirmed any future brewing plans.
Big Changes At Mezcaleria Las Flores
Earlier this month, Mezcaleria Las Flores (3149 W. Logan Blvd.) bid farewell to Jay Schroeder, the man behind the bar’s immense popularity and success. As reported by Eater, Schroeder departed the bar over a clash with ownership. A new beverage director has since been brought in: Caitlin Laman, a previous Food & Wine magazine best new mixologist winner. Laman hails from San Francisco, where she spent time at Trick Dog, a popular craft cocktail destination. As she takes over MLF’s menu, Laman will continue to focus on mezcal in addition to other spirits, particularly sherry.
Cellar Door Provisions Begins Dinner Service
Cellar Door Provisions (3025 W. Diversey Ave.) is moving beyond its breakfast and lunch repertoire. Dinner will now be available on Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30pm-9pm, beginning February 10. Make your reservations on Reserve and check their website for any menu updates.
Logan Square Getting A ‘Pour-Your-Own-Beer’ Taproom
Logan Square is adding another bar to its ever growing collection. DNAinfo reports that Navigator Taproom will offer a selection of forty beers and ciders, along with ten wines, totaling in fifty taps. The bar will use the self-serve technology, Pour My Beer, to calculate the amount and price of each beer poured. According to their website, The taproom (2211 N. Milwaukee Ave.) plans to open Spring 2017.