LAKEVIEW — Jim Burke wants to know your name.
Well, he wants to know the name of all the people who enter Witts, 2913 N. Lincoln Ave., which he bought from the former owners 1½ months ago.
The neighborhood bar closed in February after the previous owners had "a little bit of trouble," and Burke, who's worked in the bar industry for about 15 years, has always wanted to own his own "Cheers"-like joint. He reopened Witts less than two weeks ago.
"I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel," said Burke, 36. "I want a comfortable, nice, clean place."
Now Witts has new stone paneling beneath the bar, a revamped kitchen, a fresh coat of paint and LED lights on the patio. As for comfort, look to the dining options: Witts' new menu features hearty food in large portions, including a Southwest Texas Brisket "sammich" with barbecue sauce and coleslaw and a "3 Napkin Reuben" with thousand island dressing and sauerkraut.
Witts also offers 12 beers on tap and 100 bottled beers.
"I want to be known for value," he said.
Burke started his career doing small bartending jobs, went on to distributing Old Style for Skokie Valley Beverage and managed many a bar after that. But the ultimate goal, even in his early days as a bartender, was to own his own neighborhood bar, just like in one of his favorite childhood shows "Cheers."
"I want to get that neighborhood feel," he said.