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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Johnny’s Grill Replacement Young American Will Serve CBD-Infused Cocktails And More

Lonesome Rose and Ludlow Liquors alums will run the bar and restaurant at 2545 N. Kedzie Ave.

Julia McKinley (most recently the opening bar manager at Golden Teardrops and Lonesome Rose, and prior to that a bartender at Milk Room and Lost Lake) and Chef Nick Jirasek (Old Habits at Ludlow Liquors) are behind the new spot at 2545 N. Kedzie Ave.
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LOGAN SQUARE — A few new details emerged this week about the bar/restaurant taking over the former Johnny’s Grill/Mezacaleria Las Flores spot.

Owners Jeff Donahue and Wade McElroy, the duo behind the hospitality group Leisure Activities, have hired Julia McKinley, the former bar manager at Lonesome Rose and Golden Teardrops, and Nick Jirasek, who manned the kitchen at Ludlow Liquors, to run the new bar/restaurant at 2545 N. Kedzie Ave.

It’s called Young American — a name literally inspired by young Americans, according to Jenna Liberman, spokeswoman for Leisure Activities.

“Young Americans are brimming with energy and creativity, they approach life with a sense of possibility, inclusivity and purpose,” a news release reads.

Drink-wise, the owners promise a “progressive approach to cocktails.” Folks can expect CBD-infused cocktails and other drinks that incorporate fortified wines, liqueurs and seasonal ingredients “meant to be enjoyed in abundance,” as well as a curated wine and beer list, according to the release.

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical produced by the cannabis plant that’s said to offer a variety of health benefits. The use of CBD is gaining popularity throughout the country as marijuana legalization picks up steam.

Liberman wouldn’t divulge any information about the food menu yet.

The owners expect to open Young American by the end of the year, Liberman said. Block Club Chicago was first to report on the project.

Young American is replacing Johnny’s Grill, which had a long history in the neighborhood. The diner closed in 2014 after more than 30 years of business. Then, in August of 2015, award-winning pastry chef Sarah Jordan reopened it and an adjoining mezcal bar in the former Fleur flower shop. Jordan ended up closing both establishments last October for unknown reasons.

When it opens, Young American will be the latest addition to the Logan Bouelvard stretch. Merchant, a new restaurant/bar that replaced the former Dunlay’s, opened this summer.

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