A new bar is set to open this spring in place of the former Hamilton’s Bar and Grill. Restaurateur Matt Fisher, owner of Bistronomic and The Boarding House, has purchased the N. Broadway Avenue location to open a new upscale sports bar, called 63 Bar and Grill. The sports bar will provide a new location for students, faculty and neighborhood residents alike to eat, drink and watch the game.
Fisher said Loyola approached him about filling the vacant space in the building previously held by Hamilton’s Bar and Grill.
“When I was approached I thought it would be a good opportunity. I am a tenant of the downtown campus [Water Tower Campus] at my restaurant Bistronomic. It was mentioned to me that [Loyola] could potentially be looking for someone to operate Hamilton’s. I thought about it and thought, ‘That might be fun!’” Fisher said.
Fisher chose to turn the space into an upscale sports bar that is not going to be pricey. The plans include TVs located throughout the building. He hopes to keep people “in the neighborhood” with a bar and grill that has a similar feel to the River North Area, but located in the Edgewater location. The River North area, a few blocks north of the Loop, is a popular high-rent district with several bars, restaurants and galleries. The building is undergoing renovations and will be more upscale than the previous tenant, Hamilton’s, according to Fisher.
“Hamilton’s was a great place and it was around for a long time. This will be just a little bit different than that. It will probably be a little refreshing,” Fisher said.
Fisher said Loyola has been very supportive of the plans but has been adamant about the bar enforcing the drinking age. He said that the establishment plans to stay vigilant about following the law.
“[Loyola] liked Hamilton’s, but one issue they had was they thought it was a safety issue at some times,” Fisher said. “Sometimes it was the drinking itself, being that there was underage people, and it should have been policed a little better.”
In an emailed statement to the Phoenix, Maeve Kiley, university representative and director of communications at Loyola, confirmed that the university has leased the space to Fisher and that he is currently in the permit and building process.
The liquor license for 63 Bar and Grill is in the application process awaiting city approval; however, Alderman Harry Osterman has given his blessing, according to Fisher. He hopes to open the establishment in March.
“Loyola found that Broadway Ave. in Edgewater is a perfect location to bring a River North-quality bar and grill. It will provide a place for students, their families, alumni and community professionals to get a good meal and beverage,” said Kiley in the email statement.
The name Fisher picked for this sports bar located in Loyola’s backyard was no coincidence.
“The address is 6341 N. Broadway and (19)63 is the last year that Loyola won a basketball championship,” Fisher said. “So I thought it would be a great tie-in for the space.”
While Fisher is embracing the Loyola crowd, he hopes to attend to the neighborhood’s needs as well.
“We’re in the little neighborhood, for Loyola, and for everyone.”
by Megan Carabelli