Naperville pub owners expanding to Glen Ellyn
One paints, while the other hauls in the lumber.
These restaurateurs and brothers, Kevin and Brian Hahn, don't mind doing the heavy lifting as they prepare to open Main Street Pub next month in downtown Glen Ellyn.
"We don't just sit back and push pencils," says their business partner, J.J. Pacetti, who handles the power tools.
Pacetti and Kevin Hahn will be running Main Street, a bigger replica of the brothers' popular Jackson Avenue Pub in Naperville. Each have been in the restaurant business for 15 years and know they have to put in long hours, arriving at 6:30 a.m. and ending their work by 10 p.m., to get Main Street off the ground.
"Having a presence there and not letting the employees run the show -- I think it makes a big difference," Hahn said.
"This is our project, so we want to have a little blood sweat and tears," Pacetti said.
There literally was a little blood when Brian Hahn cut his hand on some glass, something the owners all shrug off as a few stitches that comes with the job: renovating a former sushi restaurant, Asian Pearl, into a pub that will serve burgers and beer.
Here, they will duplicate the menu from Jackson Avenue, known for the toppings on almost 20 varieties of burgers, like the Diablo, capped off with a fried egg, pepper jack cheese and Sriracha sauce.
"We've been adjusting it in Naperville based on the clientele, and we think it will be a good fit here as well," Hahn said.
He traces his career to bartending in college, working his way up to managing restaurants in Naperville and opening his own with his brother about three years ago.
"I'm hoping the second time around, it will be much easier," he said, but anticipates having "to put a lot of work in" to meet their deadline of a mid-November opening.
The village board this week agreed to award $13,750 toward interior improvements and $15,000 toward the facade as part of a program to attract new businesses or encourage existing ones to expand.
Inside, the facelift will add new flooring, lighting, barn wood on accent walls and bathrooms (Asian Pearl previously shared with neighboring retailers). New bi-fold windows will open onto Main Street and outdoor seating next summer, and a stage will be built for live music.
"We're going for a rustic, industrial look," Hahn said.
The bar will be extended to about 25 feet with roughly 20 kinds of beer on tap, mostly from Chicago-area craft breweries. Not into suds? Diners can choose wine, bourbon or whiskey, too.
"If we don't have it, it's not worth drinking," Pacetti said.
He describes the vibe as somewhere between a sports bar -- 12 television screens will be installed -- and more formal dining.
The three owners seemed busy, but confident in the concept they're bringing to the downtown, where most businesses are constrained in size by historic buildings. Main Street, by contrast, will have seating for up to 125, Hahn said.
"Everything seems to be lining up good," he said.