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Marion Street Cheese Market, a restaurant and food retailer which closed in September after spending half a million dollars remodeling and rebranding the store, could be the new site of a Two Brothers Brewing Co. full-service restaurant.

Masaru Takiguchi, an attorney representing Mary Jo Schuler, majority owner of Marion Street Cheese and owner of the property which housed it, said the owners of Two Brothers have signed a letter of intent to purchase the 5,000-square-foot commercial condo at 100 S. Marion St. The commercial space is on the ground floor of the Opera Club condominium building.

A Two Brothers spokesman released a statement confirming the company had signed the letter of intent, but the company declined to discuss the deal until they’ve completed the acquisition.

The potential deal was first reported Wednesday by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Takiguchi said Two Brothers – founded in 1996 by brothers Jason and Jim Ebel in Warrenville, Illinois – is reviewing the property to determine the feasibility of the restaurant, which will feature Two Brothers beer, coffee and tea.

Unlike many other commercial spaces in Oak Park, Two Brothers is looking to purchase the space, rather than renting, Takiguchi said.

“They’re going through the steps right now so that everybody understands what they’re selling and buying,” he said.

It still is uncertain how long it might take to complete the deal, Takiguchi said, noting that such deals typically take 60 to 90 days.

“It will definitely be this year,” he said.

Two Brothers currently has locations in Warrenville, Aurora, Naperville and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Marion Street Cheese closed in September 2016 due to lagging sales, according to then-operating partner Grant Slauterbeck. Prior to Marion Street Cheese closing, the restaurant and high-end cheese shop had spent roughly $500,000 to rebrand the business and remodel the restaurant.

If the deal goes through, Two Brothers won’t be the only craft brewery in the area.

Wild Onion Brewery – also owned by two brothers, Mike and John Kainz – announced plans last May to open a new restaurant and pub at 1111-1113 South Blvd. It’s uncertain where the project currently stands.

The Kainz brothers said in May they intended to have the location up and running by Thanksgiving 2016.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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