694 Wine & Spirits revamped

March 25, 2011

694 Wine & Spirits has red, white, sparkling and dessert wines available Photo By jhenryrose

After months of small changes and tweaks, the conversion is complete. In the space that used to house the Juicy Wine Company, there are now new owners and a new name: 694 Wine & Spirits .

"First of all, the biggest difference is the attitude," said co-owner Chris Dunstatter. "We're fun, upbeat people. We're not snobs. We like everybody," (which is surprising to hear, considering former owner Rodney Alex was always quick to pour a glass for himself and sit down next to anyone who would grant him an audience).

The second difference, according to Dunstatter, is they now carry local craft beers in addition to the small-allocation wines. Dunstatter says there's no mainstream beer, wine or liquor at 694.

Despite not having a kitchen,  the food being served still sounds good enough to try. 694 is the only place in the Midwest you'll find salumi, meats and cheeses made by Mario Batali's father, Armandino. Fresh salads are created with ingredients from the garden grown right on the patio, including a deconstructed potato salad. Paninis are made with boutique cheeses and roast beef, turkey or pork; they're even making peanut butter and jelly "flights."

Mondays bring Kobe beef burgers and grilled jerk swordfish, as well as half-off bottles of malbec plus live performances by local singers; Tuesdays are BLT nights, featuring Benton's smoked country bacon, which Dunstatter is planning on serving at the upcoming Chicago Bacon Fest, April 9th.

For information on private parties, daily specials and other information, visit their website.

694 N. Milwaukee Ave, 312-492-6620; open everyday at 5 p.m., Outdoor patio always open

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