A wine bar may not be the first thing passersby think of while traversing the busy intersection of Fullerton, Clybourn, and Ashland, but Luke Fairbank wants to change that. Pending permits, he plans on opening Ignoble Wine Bar on Memorial Day at 2417 N. Clybourn Ave. Fairbank’s philosophy is affordable wines by the glass and elevated bar food.
“We want to focus on those every day wines,” Fairbank said. “Obviously there is lots of great wine that’s worth the cost, that’s worth the price for special occasions. I don’t want to completely negate that, but we’re cultivating this list for more of the selections you can enjoy daily.”
All 22 wines on the list are available by the glass, with the average glass costing $7.50. Though bottles are obviously available, Fairbank said diners may see more value in wine by the glass. Eventually they’ll create a reserve list, but for now the focus is on making the 52-seat spot more neighborhood friendly. They’ll also have a sidewalk patio.
The area, mostly known for punk dive bar Liar’s Club around the corner, has a growing community of single-family homes standing behind those major thoroughfares. That provides Ignoble with a captive audience of potential patrons who may need an escape from parenting. A glass of wine and some French-Italian food may provide the means. Fairbank knows how many dread the small-plates approach to wine bars. Ignoble’s menu does focus on bar bites. The final menu with have nine to 10 small plates, including a take on coq de vin using chicken wings. They’ll eventually add brunch Friday through Sunday.
Hoping to remedy the small-plate stigma, they’ll offer a rotating meat, seafood, and vegetarian entree every day. Consulting chef David Wennerlyn will change the specials weekly. Fairbank knows of Wennerlyn from the chef’s time at Matilda in Lakeview.
“He’s been doing upscale bar dining for 35 years,” Fairbank said.
Fairbank’s love for wine developed while working at Trattoria D.O.C. in Evanston. He’s a former banker who also studied opera in college, and has experience managing restaurants in his native Kansas.
Check out Ignoble when it should open on or around May 29.