It was a quick turnaround, but the Two Brothers Co. restaurant at the site of the former Marion Street Cheese Market, 100 S. Marion St., is up and running.
The restaurant, bar and café has had its doors open since May 21, according to Two Brothers co-owner Jason Ebel.
The brewer told Oak Park trustees in late April, when the board approved the group's liquor license, that it would take them about a month to launch the operation. The quick opening was due in part to the roughly $500,000 the former occupant – Marion Street Cheese Market – had recently put into renovating the place.
Ebel said in a recent interview that Two Brothers built out a café at the front of the restaurant and installed a couple of bars, but other than that the restaurant was ready to go.
"We like to say we're trying to create an any-time-of-the-day culinary experience," he said.
That's because patrons can come in for breakfast – the restaurant makes its own pastries in-house – lunch or dinner.
Two Brothers launched the "soft opening" without any public announcement to give the staff and management time to get comfortable with the new establishment, Ebel said, noting that despite the lack of advertisement the restaurant has been "busier than expected."
The restaurant, of course, features Two Brothers beer, coffee, tea and other products. And Ebel said 99 percent of the food is made from scratch. The menu, available on the Two Brothers website, offers hot wings, a selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and moderately priced entrees.
Ebel said he and his brother, Jim Ebel, have been in the western suburbs – Naperville and the headquarters in Warrenville – for years but wanted to get closer to the big city.
"A lot of folks don't want to drive all the way out to Naperville or Warrenville," he said.
Calling the Marion Street location a "nice spot," Ebel said Two Brothers opened in Oak Park because with the location, facility and work with the village, "It just kind of all fit."
"We like the vibe of all the independent shops and restaurants (in Oak Park) that aren't chain driven," he said.
He said Two Brothers looks forward to the other restaurants coming to the downtown area, such as the Wild Onion Tied House brewery coming to 1111-1113 South Boulevard.
"We personally welcome all the new places coming in," he said.
In the spirit of collaboration, Two Brothers is working with Oak Park-based Kinslahger Brewing Company, 6806 W. Roosevelt Rd., on a Two Brothers/Kinslahger special brew. Two Brothers also is featuring "Guest Beers" from Miskatonic, Solemn Oath, Forbidden Root, Vandermill, among others.
"We're excited to be down there and to be part of the community," Ebel said.
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