After months of delays and dozens of times mispronouncing its name, Briejo Restaurant finally opened this past Saturday.
Located on Harrison, just west of Lombard, owner and Oak Park resident Brigette Lytle describes the restaurant as “upscale casual,” or “blue jeans meet black tie.” Saturday was a soft opening, but the restaurant is completely open now.
“Just by people walking by, we ended up having a pretty full night,” she said Monday. “We’re still making some menu tweaks and perfecting some systems.”
The name is pronounced “Bree-jo” and is a combination of Lytle’s childhood nickname and a shortening of Jody Andre, a consultant who helped open the restaurant. Servers at the restaurant will be wearing T-shirts with the phonetic spelling of the name on the back to help patrons.
“Hopefully when they leave, people will be able to say it,” Lytle said.
Briejo seats about 60, and includes a full bar, which seats about six. They’re open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and till 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The menu right now is “slightly abbreviated,” as the restaurant gets up and running. It includes American and French items, such as pork tenderloin, duck breast, vegetarian pasta, mahi mahi, cowboy cut steak, and escargot. Entrées range from $16 to $24. They’re also experimenting with items like pumpkin soup or pumpkin tiramisu.
“We’re just kind of playing around,” Lytle said. “We want to have fun with it.”
Lytle, 32, will remain working full-time at her other job as director of client service and marketing at a company called Dynamic Logic. Her sister Michelle Lytle, also an Oak Park resident, is helping to run the restaurant.
Other things in Briejo’s future could include adding Saturday and Sunday brunch and an outdoor patio.
Briejo originally planned to open in June, but the space was an empty shell that hadn’t been used in years. Lytle said it took much longer than expected to get the business up and running.
They can be reached at 708-848-2743.
An ofrenda for peace and justice
Pat Allen and Dorie Blesoff held an “Election Ofrenda,” last Friday night on the Blesoffs’ porch, 300 block of S. Humphrey, to celebrate the presidential election and Dia de los Muertos, a Latino observance that corresponds with our Halloween. ‘Ofrendas’ (offerings) include food, drink, flowers and incense for the souls of the deceased.
The evening featured song, music and remembrance of those souls the duo hoped were listening to prayers before the presidential election. Photos of great leaders in peace and justice such as Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, Sojourner Truth, and John and Robert Kennedy were displayed.
In addition to giving out candy to neighborhood kids, Allen and Blesoff wanted to “share our intention for a new era of peace, justice and celebration.”
No web sites welcome
Sophie Poe, a third-grader at Beye School, recently raised our consciousness, so we thought we’d pass it along: Some web sites are dangerous to birds. No, not Web sites. We’re talking about web sites, which seems to include almost every house that decorates for Halloween these days.
Ms. Poe sent us an urgent letter-alas, too late for Halloween-titled, NO SPIDERWEBS!
“For Halloween decorations,” she wrote, “please don’t put up fake spiderwebs. It is harmful to wildlife. A bird got caught in the fake spiderweb my dad put up. My mom helped get the bird out. I hope it is OK. After she got it out, my dad took the spiderwebs down. That is why there should be no fake spiderwebs. Thanks for your help!”
Ah, the webs we weave.