The Industry building is the latest multi-use facility to crop up in the River North district, offering over 120,000 square feet of mostly office space, but with several planned bars and restaurants as part of the mix. The first of those, Will Call, the latest from the Little Pub Company's Mark Berzins, opened today, embracing the building's warehouse and manufacturing roots with both its name and its funky style that encompasses hard industrial form and swank, reclaimed '70s decor.
The space itself is open and modern, with high ceilings, polished concrete floors, vintage wood surfaces and panels of waffle-textured, glazed ceramic, adding nubby texture to room dividers and light fixtures. Other pendant lights have been formed from metal rain gutters cut in various lengths and suspended vertically. During the warmer months, garage doors will open onto a patio facing Brighton Boulevard.
See also: RiNo Yacht Club Sets Sail at the Source
Will Call isn't too much different from the standard bar and grill format, featuring an expansive, zigzagging bar top, a number of cushy booths, and a few communal tables with attached, swing-out stools. The difference is in the kitchen, though, which offers a menu big on Venezuelan-style arepas and a few other Latin American flavors, as well as a few burgers, salads and soups. Chorizo sliders, cheese empanadas, chicken chicharrones and fried plantains contribute to the unique pub grub, but there are also wings (with standard Buffalo sauce or more exotic melegueta pepper and mango habanero versions), shishito peppers, and hummus.
While existing RiNo neighborhood developments like the Source and the Taxi building offer destination dining options -- with Acorn and Comida Cantina in the former and Fuel Cafe in the latter, Will Call targets RiNo residents with a more casual vibe. Will Call is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., with a late-night menu geared toward service industry employees coming off of dinner shifts.
Berzin's Little Pub Company is not so little anymore, with 23 other spots and growing. In fact, the company's website is actively seeking opportunities to purchase bars to bring into the fold, buy up commercial space where a bar could be added, and build new bars on existing vacant space. The group currently includes neighborhood standards like the Spot, the Elm and the Irish Hound, as well as suburban boozers Pifler's in Lakewood and Gibby's in Aurora.
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Keep reading for more photos of Will Call.