Loren Rattner's vision for his new restaurant and bar in downtown East Dundee centers around the comfort of his guests.
When River Street Tavern opens before the end of the year, he wants customers to feel as if they've been personally invited into the family-friendly, sports-minded pub. He wants the environment to exude enthusiasm, and as co-owner, he wants to feel as if he's hosting a party every day of the week.
"I want to make it a place to take care of the guests," said Rattner, a Lisle resident. "That's the whole reason we're in this industry -- to provide good food and a warm, friendly atmosphere."
River Street Tavern is moving to the vacant 102 N. River St. building, which housed Blues BBQ & Grill before it filed for bankruptcy and closed late last year. Since then, property owner Tom Roeser has been searching for "the right kind of operators" who have experience running an establishment, he said.
Having dreamed of owning a restaurant since he was 15, Rattner said he has ample experience in the food industry. He has served in manager roles at establishments such as Bar Louie and Fox & Hound. Most recently, he was general manager at Mullen's Bar and Grill, where he worked with Tina Anton, co-owner of River Street Tavern. Anton's family owns a handful of restaurants in the Chicago area, he said.
After spending the past few months searching for a community in which to start their new business, Rattner said, the pair fell in love with the friendly and quaint East Dundee.
Roeser said the lease agreement was finalized within the past few days, and operators are now working quickly to obtain licensing, hire a staff and prepare for the tavern's opening. Though no major renovations are necessary, Rattner said they will likely expand the bar, as well as repaint and redecorate.
Operators are also in the process of hiring a chef, whose style they hope to incorporate into the menu. Rattner said the restaurant is expected to serve affordable American-style cuisine and traditional pub food "with a twist."
"It's going to be fun and energetic, and we want everyone to feel welcome there," he said. "We're really excited."