LOGAN SQUARE — Solemn Oath’s Logan Square taproom is ready for its public debut after two years of renovations and planning.
The taproom at 1955 N. Richmond St. is set to open noon Friday, said John Barley, Solemn Oath’s CEO and founder. From there, it will be open at its regular hours: noon-midnight Friday-Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sundays and noon-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday. It will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Barley and his crew have spent the past several months transforming the Richmond Street storefront — on the ground-floor of a modern apartment building — into a warm taproom with a Europe-meets-Wisconsin-Northwoods feel, a blend of Barley’s Wisconsin upbringing and his love of Belgian beer culture.
The Solemn Oath team worked with local artists and woodworkers to give the taproom flair. They installed an oil painting above the bar. It’s by local artist Jourdon Gullett and depicts a city center in Brussels, a still-life hunting scene and homes in Logan Square.
“We were very deliberate with everything we did. It tells a really good story,” Barley said.
On the menu is an array of Solemn Oath’s Belgian-inspired, barrel-aged beer, along with cocktail “spritzes” made with its hard seltzer, City Water. For a full menu, visit the brewery’s website. The taproom doesn’t have a kitchen, but patrons can bring in food from local restaurants.
The Logan Square taproom is Solemn Oath’s second location and first in the city. Barley founded Solemn Oath in 2012 in suburban Naperville.
With the Logan Square taproom, the team hopes to add to the neighborhood’s exploding craft beer scene, Barley said.
Solemn Oath is the third brewery to open in Logan Square over the past few months. Marz Brewing opened a taproom in the Margies Candies building in April and Ravinia Brewing opened a taproom on Logan Square’s Diversey Avenue in May. The breweries joined longer-running spots in the neighborhood like Hopewell, Pilot Project and Middle Brow.
“This is one of the best beer markets in the city, and that’s because the brewers in the city have worked so hard to build it over the past decade,” Barley said. “We’ve certainly been a part of that from afar, from the suburbs, but we’re excited … to have our own outpost and be a part of that story.”
Solemn Oath Logan Square has been in the works since summer 2018, but it was held up for several months due to the pandemic.
Barley picked the project back up in the fall and was hoping for a May opening, but the opening had to be pushed back a few weeks due to a licensing delay, he said.
“With the state reopening, the state got slammed with a lot of companies trying to reboot and reopen,” he said.
Now that Solemn Oath has the proper licensing, Barley and his team are gearing up to serve their first city customers and make Logan Square their second home.
“The goal with this was never to take what we built in Naperville and bring it to Chicago. It’s very much been, ‘Here’s the story we want to tell. Let’s build this little community here on Armitage together,'” Barley said.
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