The turtle god’s reign has almost arrived in Logan Square, as after three years of planning and determination, Bixi Beer could open as early as Monday; they are waiting on a city approval and management is reluctant to commit to a date. This creative Asian-inspired brewpub is from Bo Fowler, the chef and owner of Owen & Engine and Fat Wily’s Rib Shack. Her third restaurant is an ambitious space that brews beer using Asian ingredients and serves food inspired by Fowler’s childhood in South Korea.
SPACE Architects + Planners worked on the restaurant which has room for 200 over two levels and a roof deck that faces out to Milwaukee Avenue. Fowler and friends handled the design themselves. Her brother, a glassblower in Ohio, made the glass light fixtures that hang overhead. Won Kim, the chef behind Kimski, is also an artist who created a mural for the staircase. Fowler gave him direction and Kim painted a tree with dark silhouettes with greenery. It’s got a creepy feel on par with Stranger Things and some of the nerdy sci-fi TV and movies Fowler watches. The tree lacks greenery on its branches for a dramatic effect.
Fowler also called on DC Comics comic book artist Eduardo Risso to craft a mural behind the bar. Risso created the mural from his native Brazil, and it was recreated in Chicago. Fowler is friends with Risso’s collaborator, Brian Azzarello. Azzarello is a loyal customer at O&E and will eventually write back stories behind Bixi’s beer. Look for beer with jasmine tea, sorachi hops, and lemongrass. More beer coverage will come next week.
Take a tour through the space below. Bixi, named for the Chinese turtle god, is almost here. After three years, everyone can muster a little bit more patience.