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Wellington's Tavern Could Become 'Small Plate, Small Pour' Restaurant

By Erica Demarest | November 12, 2014 5:46am
 A Wrigleyville man is hoping to convert Wellington's Tavern to a restaurant by spring.
A Wrigleyville man is hoping to convert Wellington's Tavern to a restaurant by spring.
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LAKEVIEW — Wellington's Tavern could become a neighborhood-focused restaurant by spring, if everything goes according to Howard Blumenfeld's plan.

The longtime Wrigleyville resident is working to buy Wellington's, a neighborhood bar at 1300 W. Wellington Ave., by the end of this year.

"I don't want to keep it as a bar," Blumenfeld said Tuesday night when he presented his plans at a South Lake View Neighbors meeting. "I'm looking to turn it into a restaurant that serves alcohol."

Blumenfeld said Wellington's would be open for lunch and dinner. It would offer simple, affordable small plates and a large wine list with meals.

"We're looking to change it up and make a place where you could come and have a small plate, a small pour, sit, relax and just enjoy the place — not just stop there on your way to somewhere else to eat," Blumenfeld said.

Wellington's Tavern is currently a bar with a 2 a.m. liquor license. Blumenfeld said he'd probably maintain more typical dinner hours — closing by midnight — depending on neighborhood feedback.

He plans to keep one TV near the bar for anyone who wants to catch a game, but remove the rest and add more seating for a cozier atmosphere.

Neighbors at Tuesday night's meeting said they were thrilled with the conversion, and even applauded several times. There were requests to avoid outdoor seating, offer fewer TVs and create a tapas-inspired menu.

Blumenfeld said he'd take all of the ideas into consideration. His goal is to create a restaurant that meets locals' needs. He hopes to offer lunchtime sandwich and salad delivery in the nearby area.

Blumenfeld said he's on track to buy Wellington's Tavern by the end of this year and open his new restaurant by March 1.

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