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Boystown Going mEAT-less As Minibar's New Owner Plans Next-Door Expansion

By Ariel Cheung | March 30, 2016 5:33am | Updated on April 1, 2016 10:45am
 Minibar will expand next door to the former mEAT location with a new owner at the helm.
Minibar will expand next door to the former mEAT location with a new owner at the helm.
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DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung

BOYSTOWN — Say so long to the skewers, because Boystown's mEAT is history.

The cheeky meat-focused restaurant closed at 3339 N. Halsted St. recently after owners Stu Zirin and John Dalton sold the restaurant and its adjoining neighbor, Minibar.

Rob Brumbaugh, owner of the nearby Progress Bar, bought Minibar and will expand the ultra lounge and cafe into the mEAT storefront, said Phil Roush, the newly appointed general manager.

Minibar will still be open this weekend, and its current staff will stay on, Roush said. Renovations should be completed in late May, but "we're still figuring out the logistics," he said.

"The goal is to really improve upon what Minibar already has and move forward with a new concept," Roush said. The name, however, will likely stay the same.

Chicago Pride first reported news of Minibar's sale Tuesday afternoon.

Zirin and Dalton will focus on their remaining ventures D.S. Tequila Company and Dive Bar, Zirin said. The partners hope to eventually open another D.S. Tequila and find a new home for mEAT, he added.

While the Streeterville mEAT remains open, it has a different owner. The recent sale on North Halsted Street did not include the use of the mEAT branding, meaning the restaurant had to close.

Minibar and mEAT have operated under the same business licenses for years, with their current recent tavern and food licenses set to expire in February, according to city records.

The building that houses Minibar and the former mEAT, 3341-3339 N. Halsted St. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]

Roush will oversee the expansion after a decade working with Boystown staples like Progress Bar and Hydrate Nightclub. He also performs regularly as DJ Phil DaBeatz in Boystown and around Chicago. 

"We are anxious and excited to hear from customers and the community about improvements we can make as we move forward," Roush said. "The future is bright."

Minibar opened in 2005, followed by mEAT in early 2014 at its Boystown location. Dive Bar opened shortly after.

Not part of renovation plans are two shuttered businesses on each end of the expanding Minibar. The controversial Chop Chop Chinaman has been closed since June, while the lifestyle showroom iD Chicago moved to 375 W. Erie St. in July 2014 after 13 years in Lakeview.

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