Scratch on Lake burglarized

Owner mum on break-in, focused on new restaurant on Harrison Street

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Scratch On Lake, 733 Lake St., was burglarized in the early morning of March 13, sometime after employees had closed down the restaurant and bar from the night before.

Owner Patrick O'Brien, reached by telephone, acknowledged that the restaurant was burglarized between 12:30 and 10 a.m., when the Scratch staff returned to work – but he declined to discuss the break-in.

A report by Oak Park police notes that the burglar gained entry through an unsecured rear basement door and stole $1,800 from cash registers and envelopes.

O'Brien did write about the burglary on social media, posting photos of two cash registers that appear to have been pried open.

"Well this happened last night at our restaurant, we are very thankful this happened late at night and no one was injured," O'Brien wrote, noting that the burglar made off with "a few thousand dollars" and urging patrons to "dine w us as we recover."

O'Brien was more eager to discuss, via phone interview, the new restaurant he's opening in the Oak Park Arts District.

District Kitchen and Tap – featuring made-to-order nachos and artisan pizzas, among other menu items – will be open for business in the 200 block of Harrison Street, in late April or early May, O'Brien said.

"Things are coming along very well," he said, adding that kitchen equipment has been delivered and staff has been hired for the new venture.

In addition to Scratch On Lake and District Kitchen and Tap, O'Brien is the proprietor of Scratch Kitchen & Lounge, 7445 W. Madison St., in Forest Park.

He said the District Kitchen concept focuses on customization of dishes, allowing diners to build their own pizzas and other items on the menu.

"(Menu items) are meant to be shared and have fun with," he said, noting that the tagline for the restaurant is "phones down, bottoms up."

O'Brien said he's encouraged by the growth of new businesses in the Oak Park Arts District with restaurants like MORA Asian Fusion, 201 Harrison St., which aims to open in May.

"The street is going to be so different next year," O'Brien said. "The whole area is about to pop."


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