EDGEWATER — A cafe and wine bar could soon open in the the famous Edgewater Beach Apartments.
For two years, a storefront previously occupied by a flower shop at the Edgewater Beach Apartments, 5555 N. Sheridan Road — known to many as the “pink building” — has been vacant. But now, the owner of the Edgewater Beach Cafe across the street has the support he needs to make a new eatery in the building a reality.
Quan Dao, a lifelong Edgewater resident, said he plans to offer coffee, pastries and sandwiches during the day in the cafe. And at night, it will transform into a wine bar that offers small plates, cheese and charcuterie.
“My goal is to complement the neighborhood and to make a gathering space for somewhere pre-dinner or pre-theatre,” he said. “Maybe it would be a place to get a night cap.”
Dao is seeking a tavern license to serve alcohol in the new cafe and wine bar. He hopes to retain the historic nature and layout of the space, which was once home to a soda bar.
Landing a liquor license was tricky because of the liquor moratorium in place on Sheridan Road between Hollywood and Catalpa avenues. But on Oct. 8, the moratorium was lifted by City Council’s Committee on Licensing and Consumer Protection.
Next it will go to the full City Council for approval. If aldermen sign off on lifting the liquor moratorium Wednesday, Dao will be set to open.
Dao hasn’t named the new cafe yet, but he has “narrowed it down” to a few selections. The name will likely pay homage to the old soda bar, he said.
The Edgewater Beach Apartments were built in 1928 and the building is part of the National Register of Historic Places. In its heyday the area, including the now-demolished Edgewater Beach Hotel, was part of a beachfront complex that hosted big names in fashion and entertainment.
The architect of the building, Benjamin Marshall, designed the Edgewater Beach Apartments and the Edgewater Beach Hotel. He also designed the famous Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Place.
Ally Brisbin, Ald. Harry Osterman’s (48th) director of Economic Development and Communications, said they’ve heard strong support from neighbors on the cafe itself and the lifting of the liquor moratorium. Dao did not have an opening date, but — barring any major hurdles — it could open early next year.
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