Brewing company, Hamburger Mary's opening in Oak Park

New establishments coming summer 2014

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Oak Park will be buzzing with new places to get brews and burgers soon.

According to a news release from Oak Park Development Corporation, Oak Park Brewing Company/Hamburger Mary's will open its doors in the summer of 2014, pending completion of its acquisition and rehab of an Oak Park building. No specific address has been released.

Oak Park Brewing Company will be a new venture, according to the release. Its co-tenant and related business will be Hamburger Mary's.

The first Hamburger Mary's opened in 1972 in the SOMA district in San Francisco.

"With humble beginnings as an eclectic late-night beer and burger joint, Hamburger Mary's quickly established itself as a staple in the community.," according to the release.

"Forty years later, with 12 locations nationwide and its first international location in Berlin, Germany, the restaurants are thriving as open-air bars and grills for open-minded people."

Hamburger Mary's in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood has been brewing beer for several years and the owners praised Oak Park and OPDC.

"We've participated in the Micro Brew review and know that the Oak Park area has an appetite for good food and there is a strong market here for good beer," said co-owner Ashley Wright in a prepared statement. "We've really appreciated all the help we've gotten from Sara Faust and the OPDC team. They've helped with counsel on everything — possible locations, financing, and navigating the details of opening a brew-pub restaurant like this in Oak Park."

OPDC president also spoke highly about the brewing company and hamburger joint.

"We are very pleased to have the Oak Park Brewing Company and Hamburger Mary's coming to Oak Park. We like their product, as have the patrons at the Micro Brew Review, the annual Oak Park event," Faust said in the release.

"It is a company Oak Park will embrace due to its commitment to green practices, charitable efforts, family-friendly environment, and involvement with the LGBT community. It will be a substantial investment and the owners' commitment to the community is commendable. This great outcome is due to the teamwork of OPDC's market-based recruitment efforts coupled with the pro-business governance action of the Village."

To learn more about Hamburger Mary's, visit

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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Posted: November 12th, 2013 9:35 AM

Groupon will refund without a problem, even back to credit card if you ask.

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: November 12th, 2013 8:28 AM

I should resist this (off-topic) but I can't. I remember seeing an expensive 'painted lady' with a huge banner on it saying, "X got into Princeton!". Thinking of all the immigrant families in my community that would never dream of doing anything like that despite their own "X" getting into a certain school. I have to wonder about the people that live around here. Nothing wrong with it, I suppose. I have a real estate agent now and I gather fun stories about OP. Maybe I'll write a book :)

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: November 12th, 2013 8:21 AM

And none of this is against any of the local businesses or the business discussed in this article. You are most welcome but it would be nice to see a more holistic approach to governing and community besides, "hey, this is personally good for me." Revenue isn't just recruiting businesses and governing isn't just press releases. It's the "whole of it".

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: November 12th, 2013 8:18 AM

of restaurants/shops isn't as pleasing as it is in neighboring areas. When friends visit from nearby or coasts, can see they are a bit disappointed with the reality vs. the reputation. Not trying to be mean, just state one narrative of value among others. OP has tremendous gifts but they are being slowly eroded. OP is turning into a "superzip" area; meritocrats buying kids into upper middle class via housing/schooling. Understand it as a parent, but governing by superzips is subpar for most.

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: November 12th, 2013 8:14 AM

If changing realities means restaurants are a better business option, then village planners need to do a better job with basic city engineering; proper inspection of new construction for ventilation/pollution controls, delivery truck ramps so traffic isn't screwed up. Right now, downtown OP is incredibly badly laid out. The streets are too narrow, no place for delivery vans, residents blocked blocked into garages. Its borderline dangerous, the mix of traffic and pedestrians and the mix (1/2)


Posted: November 10th, 2013 9:39 PM

Whats the connection between cross dressing and Hamburger Mary's?

Phil from Oak Park  

Posted: November 8th, 2013 7:40 AM

Regarding the Papaspiros Groupon, we finally got tired of the perpetual wait and demanded our money back from Groupon. They only issued as a credit for future purchase, but better than spending on Papaspiros. What a crock! Shame on Spiros for the bait-and-switch. I hope Groupon never does business with him again. At least I never will.

Keep The Beer Flowing!!  

Posted: November 7th, 2013 10:26 PM

Awesome to see OP embracing the business that is a brew-pub. This is the future of retail real estate. As more sales gravitate toward the internet, restaurants and other experience retail will become the new downtown landscape. No if we can only get the village to speed the insanely long approval process we just might compete with the powerhouse business friendly villages of Forest Park and Berwyn!

Neighbor from Oak. Park  

Posted: November 7th, 2013 10:55 AM

Disagree with last commentor. I was disappointed when Papaspiros closed. Many good times there and enjoyed the food. Too about about their closing with Groupons still out. Has anyone tried contacting Groupon itself about this?

Not even a good restuarant   

Posted: November 7th, 2013 9:18 AM

Why would you even waste your money on Papaspiros? Even with a groupon. Maybe the new place will be a little better (but I doubt it)


Posted: November 7th, 2013 9:08 AM

And Hamburger Mary's will probably open before Papaspiros. Meanwhile, my groupon grows moldy.

What Really Happened from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 6:51 PM

Did OPDC contact Mary's and say open a business in Oak Park, or did Mary's search several locations and Oak Park seemed like a place where Mary's could sell a lot of Beer and Burger's. Businesses don't move to places just for the Gay's, Lesbian's, Transgenders, etc., just to show support. That is what fundraisers are for. Businesses are in business to make money.


Posted: November 6th, 2013 4:34 PM

Very excited about this news. Can't wait for some good local Oak Park brewed micros and burgers.


Posted: November 6th, 2013 2:24 PM

Looking forward to it! An overview of their business plan can be found here:

Ali Ohlhoff from Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 11:25 AM

We dined at Hamburger Mary's frequently when we lived in Andersonville and are thrilled to see it coming to Oak Park!!!

Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 10:49 AM

I wonder where it will be located? I'm always glad to see a new business and welcome this restaurant, but why can't OP recruit anything else business-wise? Living near a mixed population of businesses versus one type (especially restaurants) are two different experiences. Perhaps the taxes and rents and changes in the economy (online shopping) means that restaurants are the most viable? Why so few other types of shops? I shop locally all the time but there is little economic diversity.

Mike Oak Park  

Posted: November 6th, 2013 8:45 AM

Great to see this place coming to Oak Park, IL! Nice job OPDC, It would be great if it was near the Roosevelt Road District!

Mark Ledogar from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 10:04 PM

On behalf of Seven Generations Ahead, producers of the Oak Park Microbrew Review, we're thrilled that SGA and the Microbrew Review is contributing to Oak Park's success is such a tangible way. Welcome Oak Park Brewing Company/Hamburger Mary's! Hope to see you again at next year's event on August 16!

Djeena from .com  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 8:16 PM

I would like to think OP would be just as welcoming if a company did not tout its involvement with the LGBT community. While I am definitely for gay rights, the article almost makes it sound like it is required.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 7:28 PM

I'll definitely check this place out. Good work on part of OPDC!

DTK from Oak Park  

Posted: November 5th, 2013 6:49 PM

I plan to be there on day one and quite a few days after late.

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