New restaurants, riverfront patios 'absolutely spectacular' in Naperville

Two new restaurants in downtown Naperville's Water Street District are nearly ready to open with riverfront dining just in time for summer.

The $93 million hospitality and retail district along the south bank of the DuPage River will be home to SixtyFour - A Wine Bar and Blue Sushi Sake Grill by next month, when officials also will dedicate a new plaza, a fountain and a series of five murals called "Streaming History."

The date of the invitation-only dedication ceremony, June 23, also is set as the grand opening for SixtyFour, which will host a soft opening the first or second week in June, owner Loren Beadle says.

Standing on the bar's 40-seat patio on a sunny Friday morning, Beadle, of Wheaton, said he wished the restaurant already was open to welcome customers.

"It's absolutely spectacular out here," said Beadle, who with his wife, Amy, also owns the Southern Tide apparel store that kicked off the development's business openings when it launched last fall. "I think this will be very successful right away."

SixtyFour will feature 16 self-serve wine stations, each offering four varieties chilled to specific temperatures to total the bar's namesake 64. Guests using the dispensers will be able to choose 1-ounce tastes, 2.5-ounce half-glasses or 5-ounce glasses.

The bar will serve 64 craft beers in bottles and cans, and on its menu developed by Chef Patrick McLaughlin will be roughly 64 appetizers, entrees and desserts, Beadle said.

Set to open shortly after SixtyFour is its neighbor, Blue Sushi Sake Grill. The restaurant is part of a Nebraska-based chain that serves "fun sushi" and will be conducting interviews for all positions until May 21 at the Community Career Center in Naperville. Water Street District spokeswoman Deb Newman said the restaurant aims to open by the third week in June.

SixtyFour and Blue Sushi are the second and third restaurants to open at the Water Street District, after a Mexican spot called Quiubo became the first dining destination in March.

Other eateries coming to the 2.4-acre development include Santo Cielo, a farm-to-table restaurant with a rotating menu; State & Main, a British-style pub popular in Canada; and Sparrow Coffee, a second location of a popular Chicago roastery.

Art also will give the site a fresh twist, with five murals depicting historic life in downtown Naperville by Santa Fe-based artist Debora Duran-Geiger soon to be installed along the Riverwalk.

Made with glazed and kiln-fired porcelain pieces, the murals show the city in various seasons and time periods, including the Main Street bridge in the summer, Central Park in the fall, ice skating along the river in the winter, the historic buildings of Water Street and a broader view depicting 250 years of commerce.

"This is really a big beautiful development," Duran-Geiger said. "I'm honored to have my work installed there in Naperville for everybody to see it."

At the site that took nearly 10 years to redevelop, a 520-space parking garage is open, along with Hotel Indigo, Elements banquet space and a new segment of Riverwalk path. The block-long stretch of Water Street itself, which had been a construction zone for nearly two years, is no longer cordoned off and the area is starting to come to life.

"I think Water Street is finally getting to that point," Beadle said, "of being everyday shoppable."

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The Riverwalk in downtown Naperville has a new southern border from Main to Webster streets, where the Water Street District is starting to come to life with two new restaurants expected to open in June. Daily Herald file photo
  After Quiubo opened in March as the first restaurant in the Water Street District in downtown Naperville, two more restaurants are set to open in June: SixtyFour - A Wine Bar and Blue Sushi Sake Grill. Mark Black/
This small study depicts one of five murals in the series "Streaming History" by Santa Fe artist Debora Duran-Geiger, which is set to be dedicated June 23 along a new stretch of Riverwalk at the Water Street District in downtown Naperville. Courtesy of Marquette Companies
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