UPTOWN — The president of Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville is "strongly considering" expanding to Uptown, a neighborhood that he said already has a recipe for success.
On Monday, brewery president John Barley said, "Uptown is one of the places we are strongly considering.
"And while people think it needs this or that to become something greater, so many of those pillars are already there," he said. "There is a lot of merit to our business joining with so many great entertainment venues and businesses to contribute in the revitalization of a neighborhood."
Solemn Oath has a brewery and taproom/tavern in Naperville, but Barley said he is not sure yet if the business would set up a brewery in Chicago. He said "that will very much depend on the space" he chooses.
Solemn Oath is "ready to move on a location whenever, but more realistically, [it] would be early to mid 2014," Barley said. He stressed that other locations were also under consideration and that nothing has been decided yet.
Barley said he has received "countless emails from people living in Uptown to try and put in a good word for the community," since news broke that Uptown was in the running.
"It has been great to see so much pride and receptiveness in Uptown," he said.
Officials with Uptown's chamber of commerce could not be reached for comment about the prospect of Solemn Oath coming to Uptown. In nearby Andersonville, Colleen O'Toole, managing director of the Andersonville Development Corp., said she had not heard the brewery was considering a Chicago location.
She said her organization "would love" to make a pitch to Barley and had two locations in mind in Andersonville and Ravenswood.
She mentioned the 8,000-square-foot space at the corner of North Ashland and West Foster avenues that the property owner hopes to fill with a "special" tenant after Nelson Funeral Chapel closes at the end of April.
In February, Metropolitan Brewing in Ravenswood said it was scouting new locations and planned to vacate its 25,000-square-foot facility. O'Toole said she "would love to help arrange" for a brewery to replace Metropolitan once it leaves.
The space would come with most necessary equipment, and "it would be an ideal transfer," O'Toole said.
She did not appear worried about stepping on any toes of Uptown leaders hoping to lure Solemn Oath to their neighborhood instead.
"In a situation like this it's really about making sure the business has what space works for them," she said.