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Find All the Mark Twain Nods Inside This New Logan Square Restaurant

Twain should open this week along Milwaukee Avenue

The colorful murals inside Twain are full of Easter eggs.
Barry Brecheisen

Fun food that dips into the rural Midwest for inspiration is what Tim and Rebekah Graham will serve at Twain, the couple’s new Logan Square restaurant that should soon open. Named for Mark Twain, one of America’s greatest authors, the restaurant was to open on Tuesday. But city inspectors postponed the opening. The Grahams are gunning to open this week (or as early as today) at 2445 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Perhaps the fence needed a little bit more whitewash.

Tim Graham is the former chef at Travelle, and while he’s got plenty of fine dining experience, Twain is a more casual spot. Jordan Mozer + Associates designed the space, and the main points of focus are a colorful mural on the eastern wall and a copper backdrop behind the bar. Both feature characters from Twain’s works. These are deep cuts, not just for fans of Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn.

Graham talked about approaching Mozer about the restaurant’s design. Mozer’s clients include Disney, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, and McDonald’s. He’s also worked with filmmaker George Lucas in California. Graham wasn’t sure Twain was a big-enough project for Mozer, but he was interested.

Twain took over a former auto mechanics shop built in the ‘20s or ‘30s. That seems to be a trend for restaurateurs looking for spaces in Chicago. The upcoming Lincoln Park location of Parson’s Chicken & Fish was once an auto parts shop. Shake-It, an upcoming burger spot in Ukrainian Village, was a repair shop. Graham said he wasn’t so keen on the space at first. His partner, Branko Palikuca, was the one who pushed for the space.

The building has 12-foot ceilings and custom tables and chairs. Mozer tried to make the room flow like the Mississippi River, a symbol of the Midwest. Tim Graham is from central Missouri and he talks fondly about large family gatherings. He playfully described Twain as “hick chic.”

Paddle through the space below. Twain should open this week.

This was a former auto garage that opened nearly 100 years ago.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
The first thing visitors see when they enter.
Customers can order the full menu in the bar area and in the dining room.
There’s 12-foot ceilings.
The copper backdrop features a ton of Mark Twain references.
Barry Brecheisen
The taps feature local beer.
A closer look at the backdrop.
Custom-built tables and chairs.
This mural stretches through the back of the restaurant.
It’s difficult to believe this was an auto garage.
There’s that celebrated frog.
The back of the restaurant.
Even the windows get some love.


2445 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 697-8463 Visit Website

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