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Shuttered SmallBar on Division Taken Over By Heisler Hospitality

By Alisa Hauser | January 15, 2015 2:36pm
 The former Wicker Park SmallBar at 2049 W. Division St.
The former Wicker Park SmallBar at 2049 W. Division St.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WICKER PARK — Division Street's beloved, beer-focused SmallBar closed in November, but the building will reopen this spring, with a new name and new building owners.

Veteran bar owners Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner, partners at Heisler Hospitality, have taken over the former SmallBar at 2049 W. Division St., while Kyle Glascott, owner of Glascott's Saloon and real estate investor Christopher Ilekis bought the 117-year-old building from former owner Phil McFarland.

On Thursday, Eisler said he and Heisner are "still working out details" but they plan to "take advantage of the 24 tap beer system" the SmallBar was known for.

Eisler said there is no name yet for the new bar and while it will serve food, the menu is still being worked out.

“I look forward to the next chapter for the space and what [Eisler, Heisner] do with it," McFarland said.

Eisler and Heisner also own The Revel Room at 1566 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, Bar Deville in East Village and Sportsman's Club, which opened last year at 948 N. Western Ave. in Ukrainian Village.

According to county records, Glascott and Ilekis bought the three-story building  for $1.1 million in November.

The building has the bar on the first level and up to six apartments upstairs.

Ilekis said the plan  is to "completely renovate" the apartments above the building.

"We have confidence in Division Street, although there is some recent vacancy, and feel it’s a strong neighborhood with a diverse mix of restaurants, retailers and service businesses that give it a unique character that many enjoy," Ilekis said in an email.

One block west of the old SmallBar, Eisler and Heisner have been working on another project, Queen Mary, which will revive a bar at 2125 W. Division St. that has not been open since the 1970s.

At at community meeting in the fall, Eisler described that bar as "a time capsule of neighborhood taverns of day's past."

A spokeswoman for Heisler Hospitality said they hope to have both bars open this spring, but neighbors can expect to see the Division Street space before Queen Mary lands.

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