Anne Pezalla and Kate Pezalla Marlin, co-owners of Lively Athletics, have had longtime dreams of opening a men’s annex to complement their women’s boutique at 109 N. Oak Park Ave. Now, Lively in Guyville, a men’s pop-up shop, is expected to open on Saturday, Aug. 7 inside of Oak Park Brewing Company, 155 S. Oak Park Ave.

“We need a few permits and a special business license, but all of that is in process and the village has been very responsive to all our questions,” said Pezalla. “It feels like we will never be ready in time, but I know we will get it done in time. We always do.”

Pezalla and her sister Kate became friends with Jim Cozzens, co-owner of Oak Park Brewing, at a Hemingway District block party in 2014. When a microburst whipped up winds and torrential rains poured down on Cozzen’s beer tent, the “Lively girls” came to his rescue. From there a friendship blossomed and the Lively running club often spent time at Oak Park Brewing.

“We love beer, and we love Jim,” said Pezalla. “He is a smart, easy-going, nice guy and such fun to work with. Kate was sold the second she saw the space at Oak Park Brewing.”

Lively in Guyville, named for Pezalla Marlin’s affinity for musician Liz Phair, will be housed in the former home of Hamburger Mary’s connected to the brewery. The shop is temporary for now and set to remain open through the end of December.  Pezalla indicated if the venture is successful, they would be open to the idea of extending the lease. Men’s athletic apparel, running shoes and gift items will make up the bulk of the Guyville inventory.

“The Lively girls have so much energy,” said Cozzens. “They took one look at the space and wanted to go for it. It will be great to have them here.”

The pandemic took a toll on the resilient brewery and Cozzens is patiently waiting for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to be replenished in hopes a financial infusion will help take some pressure off the five-year-old business. He is also in the process of securing a Class L designation as a historic store front in hopes it will alleviate some of the tax burden on the restaurant. In the meantime, Cozzens will continue to peddle deep dish pizza and house-brewed beer and anticipates Lively in Guyville will bring a new set of customers to the restaurant during daytime hours.

As far as Pezalla and Cozzens know their restaurant-meets-retail collaboration is the first of its kind in the village and they hope to leverage the partnership into collaborative events. On Sunday, Aug. 8, the pop-up shop is offering a classic rock themed yoga class for men and Cozzens will take participants through a beer tasting following the class.

The businesses owners have come together to brew a beer to commemorate the collaboration and promote the men’s shop, as well. The name of the beer has yet to be revealed, but Cozzens said it is an “American style adjunct lager similar to Miller High Life” designed to beef up Oak Park Brewing’s array of summer beers.

“Oak Park loves its restaurants and breweries,” said Pezalla. “This is a unique collaboration where people can enjoy a local brew pub and support another small business at the same time.”

Lively in Guyville will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily beginning Aug. 7 and shoppers can expect Oak Park Brewing to offer “beer specials” to customers.

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