Ed Marszewski continues to build his community of the future in Bridgeport. A co-founder of Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar and Kimski—the Polish-Korean restaurant inside the former slashie—also makes beer. Diners will find Marz Community Brewing on beer lists across town including at Lost Lake, Headquarters Beercade, and Hopleaf. Even with Marz’s popularity, Marszewski continues to strive for more. Last week, he applied for a liquor license in order to open a taproom alongside his upcoming brewery inside an industrial park at 3630 S. Iron St.
A tasting room is essential to Marz’s growth and survival, Marszewski wrote via email. The Marz tasting room would start with 12 taps. The new space will allow them to make new beers to hook new fans and dazzle loyalists—they can now “barrel age the !@#% out of our liquid,” he wrote.
Marszewski signed a lease for the 23,000-square-foot building back in the fall. The taproom would take up about 2,500 square-feet with 140 to 170 seats. He’s not ready share an opening timeline with the public. They’ve applied for a liquor license, but still need other city permits. Norsman Architects is assisting on the design.
“It's gonna be rad. We are combining a minimal contemporary aesthetic that complements the manufacturing plant zone and accents the natural wood infrastructure of the buildings bones,” Marszewski wrote. “We are thinking it will be a theatrical, magical Marz showroom.”
Drinkers will usually find Marz’s concoctions in bombers in other bars. Varieties include Jungle Boogie, a pale wheat ale made with South African rooibos tea. Marszewski, also responsible for Lumpen, brews an IPA named after his magazine.
He’s been looking for a site for almost three years, kicking tires in suburban Bedford Park and at the Bridgeport Art Center. The Iron Street building was owned by a friend. Marszewski randomly drove by the building and noticed the “for sale” sign.
“Community of the future” has been a tagline for Marszewski, and Marz’s tasting room builds upon that. While many Chicago restaurant groups tend to ignore the South Side, Marszewski knows how bars and restaurants can improve community spirit, providing “semi-public” meeting places so residents can better contribute to society.
“We feel that by contributing more manufacturing and hospitality gigs in the hood that we can help build a better quality of life for those of us that live and work here in the city,” Marszewski wrote. “We also want to give people another reason to come to our part of the city. My hope is that the new Marz facility will blow people's minds as it will be a rad place to hang out, take a tour, and drink delicious liquid. I also like that it will contribute to the budding beer tourism scene in our city.”
As an entrepreneur, Marszewski hopes that Marz’s tasting room will complement and drive traffic to existing businesses. That includes Kimski and Maria’s. More business for the community is something Marszewski’s mother—Maria—would like, too.