The group behind legendary bar the Whistler to Logan Square ten years ago plans to open their new bar by the end of January. Sleeping Village, coming to Avondale at 3734 W. Belmont Avenue, won’t be a recreation of the Whistler — the group’s doing plenty to mix up what they’ve got at the Whistler and adapt for a different concept in a new space. That space will focus on beer, cider, and live music, and it’s much larger: at 8,000 square-footage combined indoor and outdoor with capacity for 300 people, it dwarfs their original spot.
Partners Billy Helmkamp and Rob Brenner are bringing on Whistler-original bartender Eric Henry as a partner to open the spot, which will focus on beer and music. Helmkamp will head up the music programming, Henry will manage the beverage program, and Brenner will oversee operations at Sleeping Village, which like its sister, will feature live music events (varying between ticketed and free) from both local Chicago bands to national and international touring bands.
The name Sleeping Village is inspired by the location and the building. It’s fairly unassuming from the outside — the group says the building has a “sleepy” feel although the inside is bright and airy — hence the word “Sleeping” in the name. The “Village” part is because the spot is multi-concept, and will be open seven days a week beginning at 11 a.m. During the day, it will sport a coffee bar featuring Dark Matter Coffee, communal tables, bar stools and booths with both power outlets and free WiFi.
Another departure from the Whistler is that Sleeping Village will focus on craft beer and cider, including 56 rotating draft lines. While the group loves the cocktails they churn out at the Whistler, Helmkamp, Henry and Brenner are all huge beer and cider fans who wanted to make their new spot a beer destination. When debating how many lines the bar would have, Helmkamp says in a statement, “we were debating whether to have three or four dozen taps, but we realized that sometimes you have to go too far to get where you’re going, so we landed on 56.”
Suffice to say, there will be plenty of options for both beer and cider fans — and music and coffee fans — at the new Avondale bar. More details to come soon.