Scratch on Lake, the new restaurant by Patrick O’Brien, has made it past the soft launch of the restaurant at 733 Lake St. and is now open for lunch.

But that’s not the biggest change coming for the new restaurant, which opened earlier this year.

O’Brien said Scratch is a few weeks away from opening the front of the dining room by installing a retractable garage door in place of the establishment’s front window.

Scratch on Lake is O’Brien’s second restaurant location in the area, and the Oak Park location follows the same model as the original — Scratch Kitchen and Lounge in Forest Park.

The biggest differences in the new Scratch is that it’s three times bigger than the Forest Park Scratch and has a bigger bar and kitchen, O’Brien said.

In Forest Park, he said, there was no room for kegs or dishwashers, “so it’s all plastic and disposable and boxed wine.”

“I’m food first and I wanted to have some wine and definitely wanted some craft beers, so for many reasons we went with recyclable plastic goods for eating and drinking and cans for recycling [in Forest Park],” he said. “We could still offer over 100 choices for beer, so we were really craft beer and food.”

The new Scratch, however, has room for 10 craft beers on draft and a bigger wine selection. 

“We’ve got a really great beverage program,” he said. “We’ve come 180 [degrees] on the bar program.”

The restaurant has the same menu with a selection of burgers, sandwiches and other dishes.

O’Brien said he chose Forest Park originally because about 20-25 years ago, it was much more difficult to open a restaurant in Oak Park. He said development around Oak Park and the rise in more restaurants attracted him to open a new location here.

“I watched the building [around town] and I saw Cooper’s Hawk Winery coming in — I’m a big fan of them,” he said. “As I noticed what was coming in and all the growth and all the buildings … I was like, ‘You know they need something more casual.'”


Join the discussion on social media!