A suburban brewpub three years in the making is at last planning to debut in October with an assortment of German-style beers and a display of rare and vintage cars. Double Clutch Brewing Company — an expansive bar, restaurant, and event space with a stage for live music — is aiming for a fall opening at 2121 Ashland Avenue in Evanston.
“It’s been a long haul,” says general manager Steve Milford (Milford held the same title at Empirical Brewery in Lincoln Square). Millford’s worked toward this opening since 2016. “We’re very fortunate and have worked hard to keep it going.”
Double Clutch will offer around 18 taps, devoting half to the German styles favored by head brewer Scott Frank like kölsch, helles lager, and hefeweizen alongside familiar craft brews including IPAs. The brewery is eager to show off its unusual 14-barrel system, placing fermenting and serving tanks (in lieu of kegs) in the open for patrons to see. The tanks are laid on their side the same way German tanks are arranged, Milford says. “It’s pretty impressive.”
The brewpub’s food menu isn’t yet finalized but chef Patrick Wasserman plans to introduce his own spin on familiar bar favorites — think shepherd’s pie dumplings — alongside traditional hits like bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, Buffalo wings, and double cheeseburgers. Double Clutch will also offer meats out of its on-site smoker, in addition to a full bar and wine selection.
At 12,000 square feet, Double Clutch has ample room for private events — a feature ownership hopes will be a draw for customers in search of wedding venues and party spaces. The team has opted for an industrial feel with exposed brick walls, vaulted ceilings with skylights, and vintage neon signs to compliment the old-school automobile theme. The space is lined with retractable garage doors to allow for increased airflow, and more garage doors inside can be rolled up or down to divide the room in different ways.
Double Clutch is the first brewery project from CCH Management, the Chicago area hospitality group behind spots like Napolita Pizzeria & Wine Bar and Pescadero Seafood & Oyster Bar in suburban Wilmette, the Dock at Montrose in Chicago, and the Dock at Bradford in Milwaukee. The team this spring opened a second Pescadero outpost in Lakeview.
Double Clutch Brewing Company, 2121 Ashland Avenue in Evanston, Slated to open in October.