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March 2004

Good news for our ‘hood’s makers of brews: Onopa Brewing Co. celebrated its second anniversary of brewing in late February with an afternoon party and the grand opening of the new Onopa Bistro, owned and run by Riverwester Andy Bechaud. The Lakefront Brewery, a neighborhood pillar that bills itself as sitting at the “southernmost tip of Riverwest” saw a 12% increase in sales last year, partly due to their new Cattail Ale (we still like the Riverwest Stein best, though!). And we hear the new Snake Chaser Irish Stout is bound to be a hit too. According to Lakefront president Russ Klisch, Lakefront’s growth was more than double that of the craft beer industry average. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The new Art Bar Cafe and Gallery on Burleigh is slated to open this month. The space has undergone a complete remodeling by award-winning interior designer and co-owner Don Krause. It features, among other things, newly refinished wood floors, a paint-by-number theme on one wall, a bar inlaid with colorful glass, and funky bar tables showcasing colorful yardstick mosaics under clear table tops. There are rumors of a 600-Barbie-doll display as well… The bar joins the West Bank Cafe and the Hop Back Inn, making that block of Burleigh one of the most concentrated dining/entertainment blocks in the northern part of the neighborhood. Check out www.artbar-riverwest.com for updates on opening night, drink specials, and food offerings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . East North Avenue will soon be home to two new restaurants, both with liquor licenses. The Korean Restaurant is open in the old Izumi’s space at 2178 N. Prospect, and Cans Bar and Canteen, a duplicate of the successful, upscale pub/restaurant in Chicago’s Bucktown district, will move into the space at 1815 E. Kenilworth Pl., the old Rocky Roccocco’s restaurant, probably in late May. Cans features beer from around the world and attracts an upscale demographic, according to Cans representatives.