Glen Ellyn, Naperville pub owners opening new restaurant in Wheaton

  • Hale Street Cantina is opening inside the renovated Innovator building in downtown Wheaton at 109 N. Hale St.

      Hale Street Cantina is opening inside the renovated Innovator building in downtown Wheaton at 109 N. Hale St. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • The 65-seat Hale Street Cantina is opening next month in downtown Wheaton.

    The 65-seat Hale Street Cantina is opening next month in downtown Wheaton. Courtesy of Kevin Hahn

 
 
Updated 3/6/2020 3:22 PM

After opening three pubs in the past eight years, brothers Kevin and Brian Hahn are putting a Mexican twist on the concept with their latest restaurant.

Hale Street Cantina is joining an emerging restaurant row in downtown Wheaton. The new dining spot will fill the first floor of a former office building on Hale Street that recently was transformed by a dramatic facade renovation next to Wheaton Drama.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Set to open in mid-April, Hale Street Cantina will bring Mexican flavors to classic American bar food, a spin on the pub menu featured at the three other restaurants run by the Hahn brothers.

The siblings opened Jackson Avenue Pub in downtown Naperville in 2012, Main Street Pub in downtown Glen Ellyn in 2015 and Main Street Pub in downtown St. Charles in 2017.

Chef Scott Fisher is a partner in the new Wheaton restaurant at 109 N. Hale. He has trained with James Beard award-winner Paul Kahan at Publican on Fulton Market and Michelin award-winner Paul Virant at Vie in Western Springs, some of the area's most high-profile chefs.

"The trend of Mexican fare has become more sought after in and around the surrounding towns where our pubs are currently established," Kevin Hahn said in an email Friday. "We wanted to take a little of what we do now with the pubs and blend in Mexican American cuisine and influence."

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Hale Street Cantina will have a rotating craft and Mexican draft beer selection.

One of Hahn's favorite menu items? Coconut shrimp tacos, made with coconut fried shrimp, chopped greens, pineapple pico de gallo and a rum colada sauce.

As for sides, Mexican street corn -- elote -- and Frito pie will be among the options.

The patina-marked sign at the entrance ties into the "rustic industrial feel" of the interior, Hahn said. More than 10 televisions around the roughly 2,750-square-foot restaurant will screen sporting events.

That vibe replicates the style of its Glen Ellyn and Naperville counterparts, masculine spaces with brick walls, reclaimed wood, Edison light bulbs and iron accents.

A Naperville native, Hahn started his career in the business managing restaurants in the city's downtown.

"Our main focus has always been on food quality, consistency, and customer service," Hahn said. "We are very lucky to have such an excellent staff at each of our locations that work together to provide the best experience possible for our customers. We are hoping to bring the same level of quality to downtown Wheaton with our new concept."

The 65-seat restaurant will join a growing dining scene on the same block as Gia Mia, Sogno, Ivy, The Burger Social and Altiro Latin Fusion.

"Being born and raised in Naperville, we have had the opportunity to frequent downtown Wheaton and see all of the new developments over the years," Hahn said. "With all of the additions and new restaurants, we thought our concept would be a great fit for the downtown area."

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