If everything goes as planned, Bucktown will get a tavern with an inn upstairs this summer, three years after the project’s first opening deadline was missed. Far off the beaten path and at the end of a street that dead-ends at the Kennedy Expressway, the Leavitt Street Inn and Tavern will be a 75-seat bar and a three-room inn at 2345 N. Leavitt Street, similar to Longman & Eagle in Logan Square. Ownership hopes the spot will become a community beacon in Bucktown, as a sign posted in the window and distributed to neighbors says, “We hope to be your other guestroom.”
Neighbors, the general public and those staying at the inn will be able to get coffee, pastries and grab-and-go breakfast items during the day. Small bites from a to-be-determined chef will be on the menu for lunch and dinner. The tavern will serve two cocktails and 14 craft beers on tap . They’ll also have Stroh’s in cans as there’s a Stroh’s sign gracing the entrance. In the warmer months, an outdoor patio will be dog-friendly and seat around 50 people.
The opening beer lineup will include local brews from Maplewood, Revolution, Metropolitan, Pipeworks, Off Color, Hopewell, Half Acre, and Sketchbook. A vendor for coffee and pastries has not been decided yet but owner Teddy Harris says he’s in talks with local purveyors.
Last week, the ownership group — which includes Harris, his wife Sarah Brick, and four other local couples who invested in the inn and tavern — started interior renovations. The former home of neighborhood dive Mickey’s Tavern, the group plans to keep the original bar intact to honor its history, as well as a nonworking photo booth where patrons can take selfies. In the coming weeks, crews will install new larger windows and a dropped ceiling will be removed so the original tin ceiling underneath it can be restored.
The arrival of The Leavitt Street Inn & Tavern was first announced in August 2014, with an expected opening of spring 2015. Harris said the delay was related to many factors, including removing asbestos-filled flooring requiring environmental remediation, followed by difficulty getting a small business loan and going through a complex licensing process to transfer the bar’s ownership but not its past records, so the group could start with a clean slate.
“This process has taught us a lot. We will be better managers for it. The community has been great and very patient,” said Harris, who bought the former dive with his wife in November 2014 after Mickey’s Tavern closed.
For updates, visit @theleavittstreet.