MAYFAIR — Sorry, Northwest Siders: Maplewood Brewery is not opening a taproom on Lawrence Avenue.
But there is a new bar coming to 4475 W. Lawrence Ave. — and it will specialize in craft brews.
Leo’s Liquors Mayfair, which sits next door to the future taproom, is opening a bar in a former tavern at the location. The store’s beer distributor printed a “coming soon” sign for Leo’s owner Kushal Patel using the Maplewood Brewery logo, which led some neighbors to believe the Logan Square brewery was heading north.
Maplewood is not expanding, but Patel hopes the excitement about the taproom continues. He’s run Leo’s for the past year and has been catering to fans of local craft beers and spirits. The new taproom will have a similar focus.
Patel hasn’t come up with a name for the taproom yet, and said distributor Louis Glunz Beer Inc. included the Maplewood logo in the “coming soon” sign that because it’s one of the many local breweries they distribute.
A spokesperson for the distributor was not available for comment.
Patel’s regulars recommended he expand to a taproom. Taking their advice, he’s had crews working on the build out next door since October.
Adam Cieslak, co-founder and head brewer at Maplewood, started hearing the Mayfair rumors this week.
“We love the Mayfair area, but unfortunately, there is nothing new to report and that sign is not accurate,” Cieslak said.
Patel was only recently made aware of the confusion caused by the sign and wants people to know he didn’t mean to imply any association with Maplewood. He is still trying to think of a good name of his tap room.
“I was thinking of something like Honey Barrel. But I want to run it by my customers and online fans first and get their opinion,” Patel said.
Patel is aiming to open the taproom in 2020.
Once open, he plans to have 20 local brews on tap from folks like Old Irving Brewing as well as live music and events.
Patel isn’t looking to serve food at this point, but wants to invite food trucks on the weekends to park out front. He’ll also encourage his future customers to order pizza from nearby Sano’s Pizzeria, 4469 W. Lawrence Ave.
“That’s some of the best pizza in this town, man,” Patel said.
Patel also hopes to collaborate with local Chicago brewers on special barrel aged beers. He’s already had some success working with Barrell Craft Spirits.
He was able to select of single barrel of their bourbon unique to Leo’s Liquors that also features his store’s name on it.
“My real goal is be bring more high end experience with craft beers and spirits to the neighborhood,” Patel said. “We already have some breweries here like Old Irving. And now we’re getting a winery and meadery and probably more coming. I want to be able to add to that. I think it’s what the neighborhood wants.”
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