“63″ coming soon to Hamilton’s space
The north side of the neighborhood will soon have a new food and drink destination as Matt Fisher, owner of The Boarding House (720 N Wells) and Bistronomic (840 N Wabash), plans to open a new bar in the former Hamilton’s space at 6341 N Broadway. Hamilton’s, a long time favorite of Loyola University students, closed their doors this fall after 80 years of business. The new establishment will be named 63 Bar and Grill, a homage to the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 Loyola men’s basketball NCAA championship and the location in the 6300 block of North Broadway.
Loyola University recently purchased this building, and reached out to Fisher to guage his interest in replicating his downtown success on the far north side. Bistronic was not only named Best New Restaurant by Chicago Magazine in 2011, but they are also a tenant of Loyola’s on their Water Tower Campus.
“When Hamilton’s closed and Loyola purchased the property we wanted to bring a bar and grill to the site as we knew it was a desire of students and non students alike. We asked Matt if he would be interested in trying out the far-north side and he jumped at it” Jennifer Clark, Associate Vice President of Campus and Community Planning for Loyola University told us.
Despite having two businesses downtown, Fisher is no stranger to the north side. He was a part owner in Tallulah Restaurant and Bad Dog Tavern, both in Lincoln Square, and currently resides on the north side as well. This newest venture is targeting an opening this spring, potentially in March or April.
“We have a very strong relationship with Loyola, being a tenant of theirs already, and when they approached me it made total sense. We hope it only makes that relationship stronger,” Fisher stated. “I also recently met with the Alderman’s office and they have been nothing but supportive.”
Conceptually, 63 plans to cater to both local neighborhood residents and university students. The interior is currently undergoing a complete rehab, and will have more of a sports bar/loungy feel to it that features street side windows that open up, pool tables and a photo booth. The menu is still in the works but is likely to be much more than your traditional bar food of wings and burgers. “I want it to have a very local feel” Fisher explained, “the neighborhood is underserved and I feel that maybe local neighbors felt crowded out by the very young college crowd that Hamilton’s drew.”
Hamilton’s had a history of issues with underage drinking, and police raids targeting underage drinking became common at the location. This is one reason Fisher is seeking a new liquor license rather than purchase the one that existed under the Hamilton’s name. Surely Loyola will be more supportive of an establishment that is tougher on underage drinking, but Clark also added:
“To be honest, we wanted a place where people over-21 felt welcome and where the police wouldn’t dominate the scene with raids on fake IDs. 23 or 40, professional, parent, or student, Loyola affiliated or neighborhood resident – 63 should be for everyone.”