Way back in January, word got out that Bo Fowler had a unique brewpub project for Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. The chef/owner behind Owen & Engine and Fat Willy's Rib Shack wanted to work with Southeast Asian flavors, and she and her staff had a vision for the brewery they called Bixi —though that was just a working name. Well, the Bixi name has stuck, and Fowler said they're now targeting a July opening, with construction starting in a few weeks.
Curbed Chicago uncovered that they've just secured a batch of new building permits for the space at 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. In case anyone needs a reminder, Bixi took inspiration from brewpubs in China and their recent surge popularity. Fowler and her staff want to emulate some of those flavors with tea infusions for beer, using ingredients that most brewers haven't used. They'll pair well with some of the noodles Fowler has planned, as she's keen to show hipsters Asia showcases more than ramen when it comes to noodles. There's also a noodle bar space dedicated to the late Todd Kunkleman, a pastry chef at Owen & Engine who endeared himself to Fowler. Fowler said she wants to donate a $1 from every noodle bowl to a charity in honor of Kunkleman, who died in 2013. They'll serve noodles late night, wanting to give service industry workers a spot to chow down after their shifts.
Bixi was first introduced as merely the name of the holding company for the restaurant. Bixi is from Chinese mythology; it's a creature with a dragon's head and turtle's body. But Fowler said the name took root and that she and her staff couldn't think of anything better.
UPDATE: Fowler wanted to clarify that Bixi will be a brewpub first and foremost, serving a menu of Asian-inspired items. The noodle bar portion of the project —dedicated to Kunkelman— will have a 10-seat counter near the kitchen and be open late.