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Craving Boystown mEAT? Skewer Spot Returning In Now-Closed Dive Bar

By Ariel Cheung | June 9, 2017 12:52pm | Updated on June 12, 2017 8:32am
 mEAT is returning to Boystown with tasty skewers and an expanded menu in the former Dive Bar.
mEAT is returning to Boystown with tasty skewers and an expanded menu in the former Dive Bar.
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BOYSTOWN — Good news, mEAT eaters: Your savory skewers are coming back to Boystown.

Dive Bar, 3445 N. Halsted St., closed in mid-May so owners Stu Zirin and John Dalton could re-create the cheeky, shared-plates restaurant that closed in March 2016.

Zirin said Friday they always intended to bring back mEAT, but took a little longer than expected to make the storefront swap happen.

But a sign outside Dive Bar this week announced to passersby that their meat sticks will be back soon.

"I can't believe how many people have stopped me to say they're glad it's coming back," Zirin said of mEAT.

With a larger kitchen, Zirin said he's looking forward to expanding the mEAT menu, which previously stuck almost exclusively to skewered dishes and the occasional fondue. 

"It was like an airplane kitchen with an Easy-Bake Oven," Zirin said. "I could only bake or roast, and now we'll grill stuff and pick up some of the oysters and things people really liked at Dive Bar."

Dive Bar closed after three years and will reopen as mEAT. [DNAinfo/Erica Demarest]

Dive Bar opened in 2014 in what was once Tapas Gitana. But the fresh seafood spot couldn't sustain itself in such a small storefront, Zirin said.

"Even on a busy Saturday or Friday, the check average couldn't do the numbers, and it didn't make sense for the space," Zirin said. "What I always say in life is that it's unfortunate the test is always before the lesson."

Zirin said he expects to have better luck with mEAT, which will open in August after Northalsted Market Days.

While it would have been great to be open in time for the massive Boystown street festival, "I've learned that it doesn't make sense to rush to open and then fail," Zirin said. "mEAT always had that great reputation, so we'll take our time."

Zirin and Dalton also own D.S. Tequila Company and last year sold Minibar and its shared liquor license with mEAT to Rob Brumbaugh. Brumbaugh planned to expand Minibar into the mEAT storefront, as the sale did not include the use of the mEAT brand.

Brumbaugh, though, died in February. He also owned Progress Bar and an advertising agency.