The former Byline Bank branch at 1600 W. Chicago Ave. will become a new restaurant and wine bar. Credit: Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago

WEST TOWN — The folks behind swanky bohemian-inspired Beatnik restaurant are bringing another restaurant and wine bar to the same stretch of Chicago Avenue — with flavors they promise will be very new. 

Bonhomme Hospitality Group, which owns Beatnik, 1604 W. Chicago Ave., is taking over the restaurant’s neighboring storefront, formerly occupied by Byline Bank. 

“The palette and interior elements of the new spot will be for sure different than anything else we’ve done,” said Daniel Alonso, Bonhomme Hospitality Group’s managing partner and founder.

Alonso didn’t elaborate on potential menu items, but assured Block Club that it would offer Chicagoans something new. 

If everything goes as planned, the new restaurant and wine bar at 1600 W. Chicago Ave. will open in early spring, Alonso said.

The 2,000 square-foot corner spot will feature an outdoor garden in the back, behind Ashland Avenue, and an entrance on Chicago Avenue next to Beatnik.

Like Bonhomme’s other offerings (Black Bull and Bordel in Wicker Park and Celeste in River North), the new entry will be a standalone concept.

Alonso said all ventures under the Bonhomme umbrella “share a desire to transport guests to another time and place, through unique interiors, great cuisine, delicious drinks, humble service and arguably the city’s most diverse music programming.” 

In the past few years, West Town’s Chicago Avenue has undergone a destination-worthy rebirth, with dozens of new independently owned shops and restaurants adding to existing legacy businesses like Alcala’s Western Wear and “slashie” liquor store and bar hybrid Loop Liquors. 

Alonso told the Sun-Times last year that he hopes to see Chicago Avenue develop the way Wicker Park developed during the 1990s, with lots of great independent galleries, retail stores and hospitality venues. 

“Our goal is to create concepts loaded with character and authenticity and in locations that share the same spirit, like Chicago Avenue and West Town. We are thrilled be growing in the neighborhood and to continue to be part of its story and evolution,” Alonso said on Wednesday.

Brown paper recently went up in the windows of the old bank branch, sparking curiosity from locals, some of whom assumed Beatnik itself was growing larger.

In addition to the original Beatnik location in West Town that opened in late summer 2017 in the former Mecca Fashion, Bonhomme Hospitality Group also operates Beatnik on the Riverwalk and Cafe Bonhomme, two co-located spots that replaced Pearl Brassiere this past summer.  

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