LAKEVIEW — New business Beermiscuous plans to sell some 300 craft beers on tap and in cans and bottles — but don't call it a bar.
Owner Paul Leamon considers Beermiscuous, 2812 N. Lincoln Ave., to be more of a cafe. He'll be offering free Wi-Fi and even a space in the basement where people can hold business meetings or tastings. Instead of baristas, there will be "beer-istas" trained in craft beer.
It will also be just like the local coffee shop — order a drink, sit down and hang out.
"But instead of coffee," Leamon said, "we do all craft beer."
Leamon, who owns companies in the health care technology field, works from home frequently and constantly sought out coffee shops to get out of the house. Beermiscuous partly came from the idea that it'd be nice to drink a beer instead of coffee during the day, he said.
Plus, as an avid traveler and craft beer fan, he saw how businesses on the coasts were capitalizing on the booming craft beer industry with more relaxed settings.
Leamon hopes Beermiscuous will fill that gap in Chicago.
"The coasts are definitely more progressive in these establishments than the Midwest," he said.
Beermiscuous will have a definitive Midwestern flavor, though. Leamon plans to have at least one beer from every local brewery at all times. Already, the beer cafe has more than 40 local breweries set up, from Gary's 18th Street Brewery to Barrington's Wild Onion Brewing.
The selection of about 300 beers will rotate on a regular basis. Today's craft beer drinker is "very promiscuous in what they drink," Leamon said. They like experimenting and don't really attach themselves to one beer, he said — hence the name "Beermiscuous."
"They may have their favorites, but they're always on the hunt for something new and interesting," he said.
After trying different beers, people will be able to buy six-packs to take home. The cafe portion will be BYOF — Bring Your Own Food, meaning people can order delivery or bring in meals from neighboring restaurants.
Since it's more of a cafe, Beermiscuous will keep cafe hours. It will open at noon and close at 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 7 p.m. on Sundays.
The business is still going through the city process to gain proper licenses and permits. Leamon hopes to open the beer cafe by spring or early summer.