Two Brothers could be coming to downtown Naperville

  • The Wise Boxer Pour House in downtown Naperville could be replaced by a new location of Two Brothers Brewing Company sometime next year.

    The Wise Boxer Pour House in downtown Naperville could be replaced by a new location of Two Brothers Brewing Company sometime next year. Daniel White | Staff Photographer July 2013

Updated 11/10/2015 6:11 AM

A change that brings a version of the popular Two Brothers Brewing Company to Naperville could be in store at the Wise Boxer Pour House in the city's downtown.

Two Brothers operators have presented preliminary plans to the city that call for renovations to the space at 16 W. Jefferson Ave. to operate it as a new restaurant concept.


Two Brothers co-founder Jason Ebel said his team is still forming ideas for what type of food and environment the restaurant would offer. But it could take over from the Wise Boxer early next year.

"Our idea would be just to figure out what the Naperville restaurant scene doesn't have that it could use," Ebel said. "It's got such a vibrant restaurant scene already. Our goal would not be to compete with that, but rather to enhance it."

The Naperville restaurant likely will differ greatly from Two Brothers' first two locations: the Tap House in Warrenville and the Roundhouse in Aurora, Ebel said.

But that's fine by Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, who said he's pleased the restaurant concept plans to focus more on serving food than on being a night life spot.

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"I think it'll be a really nice fit," Chirico said. "It's the type of restaurant that we would like to see going in there."

The Wise Boxer took the place of the former BlackFinn American Saloon, which was known as the site of many alcohol-fueled problems during its three years in downtown Naperville, and even had its liquor license suspended for three days during Thanksgiving week in 2012.

Jim Bergeron has operated the Wise Boxer since May 2013, focusing on high-quality food he described as "eclectic" and a drink menu of craft beers and rotating seasonal brews. He deferred comment about the future of the operation to Ebel.

Early plans presented to the city's liquor concept commission called for a farm-to-table menu as well as outdoor seating at the three-story building, said Kavita Athanikar, city prosecutor. The new operation would seek a liquor license as a restaurant/tavern and also a late-night permit to allow alcohol sales until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Ebel said nothing will change before the end of the year. But by the end of the month or early next month, he hopes to have solidified ideas for what a Two Brothers location in Naperville could be and "then focus our efforts on making that come together."

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