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posted: 1/10/2014 6:00 AM

Tavern on 60 brings new game plan to Mundelein locale

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  • Owner David Pedersen draws a root beer at Tavern on 60.

       Owner David Pedersen draws a root beer at Tavern on 60.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Anna Braun of Lake Villa and Veronika Jerikova of Wisconsin enjoy a night out at Tavern on 60 in Mundelein.

       Anna Braun of Lake Villa and Veronika Jerikova of Wisconsin enjoy a night out at Tavern on 60 in Mundelein.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Tavern on 60's "Ham" burger comes topped with cheese spread, fried onions and sliced ham.

       Tavern on 60's "Ham" burger comes topped with cheese spread, fried onions and sliced ham.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Televisions abound at Mundelein's Tavern on 60.

       Televisions abound at Mundelein's Tavern on 60.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • The "Mundi" melt at Tavern on 60 is an open-faced Italian beef sandwich with crispy onions, giardiniera and melted mozzarella.

       The "Mundi" melt at Tavern on 60 is an open-faced Italian beef sandwich with crispy onions, giardiniera and melted mozzarella.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Bartender Scott Taggart pours a drink at Tavern on 60 in Mundelein.

       Bartender Scott Taggart pours a drink at Tavern on 60 in Mundelein.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Tavern on 60 recently opened in the spot last occupied by Blue 60.

       Tavern on 60 recently opened in the spot last occupied by Blue 60.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
By Lisa Friedman Miner
lminer@dailyherald.com

Tavern on 60 is hardly the first bar/restaurant to try to make a go of its Mundelein location, on Townline Road near Route 83. A number of different eateries have come and gone, the most recent being the troubled Blue 60. But with new owners Phil Gilardi, of Philly G's in Vernon Hills, and Dave Pedersen now calling the plays, this well-placed bar is getting back in the game.

Motif: Tavern on 60 has retained much of the look of Blue 60 -- TVs everywhere, framed jerseys, massive sports photos. But the owners have injected a bit of suburban pride as well, adding team memorabilia from Mundelein and Carmel high schools.

There's plenty of seating throughout -- whether you want to cozy up to the massive bar or hunker down at a high-topped table or booth.

Food: The menu features a mix of bar standards, paninis, unique sandwiches and Italian entrees like eggplant Parmesan and baked rigatoni. There's a solid burger list with plenty of opportunities to customize, including one version topped with fried onions and a scoop of mac and cheese.

We started with an order of crisp, tasty onion rings and a platter of wings. The wings were meaty and flavorful, with a hot sauce that burned the lips in just the right way. While ample, they fell a bit short, size-wise, of the menu-touting "jumbo."

The thin-crust veggie pizza came with plenty of toppings and a thick coating of cheese. Even better was the portobello sandwich, paired with well-seasoned, crisp-at-the-edges Parmesan chips.

Liquid consumption: Twelve beers are on tap, including an adult root beer. But on the night we visited, we found the bartender made a pretty mean martini as well -- something you rarely find at a sports bar.

Crowd: Families make up the early crowd at Tavern on 60, but the majority of the patrons are couples and groups of friends in their 40s through 60s.

Sounds: It was on the quieter side on the night we visited, allowing us to chat easily as well as hear the action from the televised football game. Gilardi plans to add bands on the last Saturday of each month.

Service: Our server was pleasant and offered suggestions but admitted to not knowing much about the cocktail menu when we had questions.

Parking: There is plenty of parking in the lot.

Overall: Tavern on 60's tagline is "Sports dining redefined," and that might just be the right game plan for winning over new fans.

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