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Inside Lincoln Park’s New Greek Tavern With Fun Bar Bites and Ouzo Education

Avli Taverna expands from Winnetka to Chicago

A well-lit Greek bar.
Avli Taverna in Lincoln Park builds on suburban success.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Building upon the success of his suburban Winnetka restaurant, Louie Alexakis should soon up his first Chicago restaurant, Avli Taverna. Hidden on a quiet tree-lined street in Lincoln Park, the restaurant is not too far from DePaul University’s main campus at 1335 W. Wrightwood Avenue. It’s a 50-seater with Greek dishes that may be unfamiliar to many Americans.

The bar component is big at this restaurant, and Alexakis has brought on Peter Vestinos (Sepia, The Betty) to develop the drink list. Alexakis loves his Greek heritage, and it baffles him when he sees patrons improperly drinking ouzo. He aims to educated customers how to properly enjoy the Greek spirit.

While vowing he wouldn’t feature gyros on the menu, Alexakis has changed his mind and will serve a gyros sandwich. The full menu features spreads, salads, soups, small plates, and full-sized entrees. Find dishes like slow-roasted lamb, Greek dumplings filled with seasonal stuffings, and old Greek-American favorites. Greek fries with oregano and feta rounds out the selections.

Tour the space below. Avli Taverna’s ownership group includes William V. Glastris Jr. and sportscaster Lou Canellis. It should open any day now. They’ll start with dinner, but lunch and brunch are on their way too.

Avli Taverna has taken over a neighborhood bar in Lincoln Park.
It’s a casual spot for a quick bite.
A white dining space with two wooden two-top tables and chairs, beside large bi-fold windows.
A few of a quiet Lincoln Park tree-lined street.

This is the bar where staff will teach customers how to properly drink ouzo — with food.
It’s an intimate space.
Three tables in the back room.
A white dining room space with wooden tables
Avli’s motto is listed on the wall.
Papoutsakia (grilled eggplant)
Cypriot salad
Pork souvlakia
Gyros sandwich and fries
Avli Taverna’s kataifi prawns are large and wrapped with crunchy filo pastry.
Kataifi prawns
Caramel baklava ice cream

Avli Taverna

1335 West Wrightwood Avenue, , IL 60614 (773) 857-5577 Visit Website

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