GLEN ELLYN – A portion of the former Soukup's Hardware & Appliances store in downtown Glen Ellyn will see a new life as a restaurant.
The owners of the Geneva-based Nobel House have announced plans to open a second restaurant in the building at 419 Main St. that formerly housed Soukup's. The store, which had been part of Glen Ellyn's business landscape for more than 80 years, closed its doors earlier this year.
A spring opening is being targeted, Nobel House co-founder Jason Levin said. Both Levin and co-founder Dave Cilio are Geneva residents and opened their Geneva restaurant in May 2014.
"We just love the town," Levin said. "We think there are a lot of similarities to Geneva. The same things that we loved about Geneva we love about Glen Ellyn as well. The downtown has a really cool look to it. It seems like it's a town that supports mom-and-pop-type businesses, which is an important part of what we do."
Plans are for the restaurant to occupy about 3,300 square feet on the building's main level. A large back patio, along with outdoor seating on Main Street, also is included in the plans. A sushi restaurant is set to occupy the other half of the building.
Nobel House will offer house-smoked meats and fresh oysters, along with burgers and fresh seafood. The menu will be similar to the menu at the Geneva restaurant, Levin said.
"But there also will be some unique things to Glen Ellyn," he said.
The drink menu will consist of 30 rotating draft lines of craft beers, fine wines and hand-crafted cocktails. Nobel House is named after Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize.
Levin said the former Soukup's building is the "perfect" location for a restaurant.
"The fact that it was an empty shell basically gave us the ability to create what we want to create from the ground up," Levin said. "I think we can fit in well and just enhance that whole little area."
Maize + Mash is across the street from where Nobel House will be. The owners of Maize + Mash also own Barrel + Rye and The Burger Local restaurants in downtown Geneva.
"Those guys are friends of mine, and they've said nothing but glowingly positive things about Glen Ellyn and their experience there so far, and they were excited for us to come in," Levin said. "I think our two businesses actually complement each other pretty well. They are similar but different enough. I want as many great operators next to me as I possibly can. I just believe, let's get a lot of people to the area and there will be enough business for everyone to go around."
Levin said he thinks the restaurant will bring a unique flavor to downtown Glen Ellyn.
"The food that we do is a little bit different than what's being done in the area now," he said. "We smoke all our own meats in house... We bring a very relaxed atmosphere that welcomes everyone."