Two Brothers Barrel House opening Monday in downtown Naperville

  • Two Brothers Brewing Company has converted The Craftsman cafe into a new restaurant and bar concept, called Two Brothers Barrel House, at 16 W. Jefferson Ave. in downtown Naperville.

      Two Brothers Brewing Company has converted The Craftsman cafe into a new restaurant and bar concept, called Two Brothers Barrel House, at 16 W. Jefferson Ave. in downtown Naperville. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/3/2019 8:16 AM

Passers-by who peered through the plate glass windows of 16 W. Jefferson Ave. in the past few years would have seen a coffeehouse spanning the first floor.

If they didn't know better, it's possible they were completely unaware the two upper levels of the downtown Naperville building had their own identities.

 

The Craftsman was a unique and enjoyable endeavor for the Warrenville-based Two Brothers Brewing Company, co-founder Jason Ebel said, but it also was a bit out of character.

On Monday, the first and second floors will reopen as a concept more familiar to their customers: a restaurant and bar called Two Brothers Barrel House.

"We love being in Naperville. We love being part of the community. We didn't want to run away from it," Ebel said. "Instead, we wanted to give people what they expect out of Two Brothers."

Owners spent the past few weeks converting the first-floor cafe and the tavern above it into an Americana-style pub, serving cocktails, craft beer, handspun milkshakes and an assortment of meals. In place of the food display case and coffee counter, the renovated space will feature a large bar, TVs and a rustic, family friendly atmosphere, Ebel said.

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The Third Floor, a mixology cocktail bar and lounge on the building's top level, has been operating through the lower-level construction and will remain unchanged.

Barrel House will serve as the new home for the company's line of artisan spirits, which are distilled and produced in the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora. Vodka, rum, coffee liqueur and canned beverages will be served at the Naperville establishment in the form of craft cocktails, spirits flights and other drink specials.

"Our spirits company is growing like gangbusters," Ebel said. "It needs a home where we can showcase what we're doing and some of the unique products we offer. We thought this is a perfect time to bring that to Naperville."

The restaurant plans to play into that concept with Bloody Mary brunches and "adult-style" milkshakes, he said, noting kid-friendly milkshakes also will be available. The drink menu also will include wine and a variety of Two Brothers and other craft beer selections.

Classic comfort food options, such as barbecue ribs and fried chicken, will dominate the Americana food menu, Two Brothers officials said. They also plan to schedule live music on weekends.

"While we loved and were proud of what The Craftsman provided and the products we created, we're excited that this new direction will provide a casual, family-friendly experience that Two Brothers fans have come to expect from us," Ebel said.

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