LOGAN SQUARE — When picking a spot to open an "ultra sports lounge," Logan Square may not be the first place that pops to mind.
According to city lore, the neighborhood is home to the highest number of Chicago Art Institute students, and for years has been known for that young, arty demographic and not so much the stereotypical wing-eating, yelling-at-the-screen sports bar types.
But Suite 25 owner Dino Perez, said he wasn't thinking about that when he started planning the sports bar three years ago.
"It wasn't strategic to open a bar in Logan Square, it was more convenience," he said.
He and his father own the building that will house the sports lounge, which Perez said will have a large television screen visible from every seat in the house.
"I never try to develop a business based on my neighbors," he said. "I mean, I want to cater to everyone. If it's the neighbors, I want to welcome my neighbors, don't get me wrong, but we are not strategically marketing to the neighborhood."
Instead, he hopes it will be a destination place that patrons won't mind driving a few minutes to get to. He plans to show all the "mainstream" sports, such as NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL (when the lockout ends), but Suite 25 will also show soccer matches and any other major sporting events that crop up in the bar's dozen odd sports subscriptions.
As far as the food, Perez said he borrowed from his Bucktown restaurant, Rio's D'Sudamerica, by creating a South American-infused menu, with some traditional bar food items. So game watchers can get everything from ceviche or "Incan Tater Tots" to burgers, onion petals, and of course, chicken wings.
And when it comes to the possible culture clash, 21-year-old photography major and unofficial representative of that young arty demographic, Nora Drew, perhaps said it best:
"I don't think [Logan Square] really has a sports bar kind of vibe," she said, adding, "But there are kids who like art and football."
Suite 25 will celebrate its grand opening Saturday.