EDGEWATER — Loyola University students might have a new favorite late-night spot when 63, a bar and grill, opens its doors this spring in the building formerly home to Hamilton's Bar.
Hamilton's — nicknamed "Hammies" by the throngs of college students who patronized the neighborhood institution since it opened 80 years ago — closed its doors last October after Loyola purchased the building from the bar's owners.
Matt Fisher, the owner of 63, opened The Boarding House alongside former "Check, Please!" star Alpana Singh last month.
He also owns River North restaurant Bistronomic.
The 45-year-old restaurateur said the Far North Side was lacking an upscale sports bar, and found the former Hamilton's location to be "up for grabs."
"I think the students and people up north have no where to go," said Fisher, of Uptown.
But he said he wants to attract more than the Loyola crowd with an expanded menu and a "warmer" atmosphere.
"You can do so much more than just the university kids," he said.
Crews worked to renovate the building Wednesday, which will feature, if all goes as planned, big-screen TVs, expanded seating and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Renderings of the soon-to-be-opened bar reveal a restaurant one might be more likely to find near his other establishments on the Near North Side.
"I don't know what to expect — to make it like a River North space," he said.
News of 63's opening might put to rest rumors that Loyola had forced the closure of Hamilton's last year.
Fisher said Loyola had been supportive of the plans to open the bar, but was adamant about enforcing the drinking age.
Fisher said Ald. Harry Osterman had also been supportive of his plans to open 63 — named after its street address, 6341 — on a stretch of North Broadway speckled with empty storefronts and auto repair shops.
Fisher said he still had to obtain a liquor license from the city but hopes to be open by May.