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'Bixi' Brewpub Bringing Booming Logan Square Strip its First Rooftop Patio

By Darryl Holliday | March 3, 2015 6:04am
 Bixi, named after a Chinese turtle-like figure of the same name, is planned as an after-hours haven.
Bixi, named after a Chinese turtle-like figure of the same name, is planned as an after-hours haven.
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LOGAN SQUARE — Restaurants and bars seem to be opening one after another along Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square, but the newest addition will bring a first, even for the late-night strip set between California Avenue and the neighborhood square.

Plans for the tentatively titled “Bixi” include rooftop seating for the upcoming 10,000-square-foot brewpub at 2515 N. Milwaukee Ave. — a first on the block that includes The Owl, The Rocking Horse, New Wave Coffee, the recently sold Milshire Hotel and the future Logan’s Crossing, currently the Mega Mall.

The rooftop will be a semi-enclosed area with a retractable atrium for herbs that will be used in Bixi's kitchen, according to John Von Tolley, media representative for Owen & Engine, 2700 N. Western Ave.

The new Owen & Engine and Fat Willy’s offering from owner Bo Fowler is still in the works but will feature a range of menu items including Asian-inspired and fusion meals, like Italian beef soup dumplings — one idea being batted around by Bixi staff ahead of a grand opening, according to Von Tolley.

The area is in “need of diversity of food an flavors,” Von Tolley said. “And we hope we can bring new flavors. We see ourselves as a source for entertainment and sustenance but also as a resource for the community.”

“We’re trying to do this business to give back to the community in the form of feeding our friends,” he added.

That’s because beyond the food, Bixi, named after a Chinese turtle-like mythical figure, will be an after-hours haven for industry types coming off of shifts along Milwaukee Avenue, Von Tolley said.

“We really want to be a resource for other people in the service industry,” Von Tolley said. “A place for servers, chefs and cooks to go and have a late-night beer after getting out [of work]. We’re running it cheap so we can give back to the community we’re a part of.”

Call it a shift drink for Logan Square’s late-night crowd. The restaurant will offer large plates and shareable food — including noodle shop-style bowls — all night, according to Von Tolley.

“We’re throwing around the idea of Lazy Susans, or the feeling of a Lazy Susan — a big group sitting around the table not worrying about what time it is,” Von Tolley said.

“Bixi” will begin with dinner options before expanding to Saturday and Sunday brunch and lunch after its unscheduled launch (some time before fall 2016).

As of January, Owen & Engine owners were in the market to hire a head brewer for the brewpub.

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