PLAINFIELD, IL – Downtown Plainfield has a quaint charm, and that’s one of the reasons this restaurateur decided to bring his modern, gastropub-inspired American restaurant here. Dan Tacone, co-owner of Whiskey Bar Next, said he had witnessed “the immense support that companies [in Plainfield] get locals. “
“We thought we would be a nice compliment to all the fantastic companies that were already there,” he said.
The NWB opened on July 13, offering handcrafted cocktails, a long list of whiskeys, a menu featuring flavors from around the world, and comfort food classics. Tacone describes the atmosphere as “relaxed and comfortable with a touch of southern charm and a classic rock and roll kiss”.
Despite the myriad of challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, he said he was not worried about this new venture as he has experienced supporting small businesses firsthand.
“During our construction of the space, we also saw full patios and long queues for take out orders at surrounding businesses, so any concerns we had about opening during this pandemic were short-lived, ”Tacone said.
Much like the pandemic, the situation in a new restaurant is very fluid at first. Tacone and his team have worked hard to provide every customer with a five-star experience, he said.
“If we are successful in doing this, we will grow organically through word of mouth. We will also use social media and leverage our location to develop our customer base, ”he said.
Tacone and its business partner Ben Devee are making adjustments every day to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, so they can provide their guests with an enjoyable and memorable experience in a clean and safe space.
They follow Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines including but not limited to tables 6 feet apart, hand sanitizer stations throughout the restaurant, required masks for employees and guests (when not seated at the table), limited bar seating to ensure social distancing, frequent hand washing by employees, frequent disinfection of all bathrooms and restaurant surfaces.
The NWB offers indoor and outdoor seating, and despite the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus, owners are ready to protect their customers.
“We were very lucky that people came along,” Tacone said. “In the last few months we’ve become very good at rolling with the punches. So as always, we’ll be ready to do whatever is asked of us to ensure public safety.”
Tacone said he has worked in the restaurant industry since he was 16, doing every job “just about every job imaginable within it.” In 2010 he opened Next Mex with Devee in Lemont, then NWB’s first location arrived in Lisle in 2017. They both love “what we do and are always keen to continue to grow and follow the trends in constant evolution of the industry, ”he said. .
With years of experience under their belt, they offer some of the most delicious items. Their Little Habana pulled pork, prosciutto, mozzarella, homemade pickled cucumber and onions, stone-ground mustard aioli, served over a soft focaccia. For a lighter meal, customers can try the shrimp, wrapped in applewood bacon and served with black beans, corn relish, and chili aioli.
They also have a selection of craft drinks such as Black Manhattan with butter creek Rye, Averna, Angostura and Peychaud bitters, dirty cherry and blackberry. Those with a fruity bent can try the cocktail consisting of fresh seasonal fruits, organic Prairie cucumber vodka, Lazzaroini Marascino liqueur and lemon juice.
Tacone said he has received “incredible” comments from the Plainfield community so far. He said the NWB has such an inviting look to our space that it will immediately draw you in for dinner with friends, happy hour with coworkers or lunch with the girls.
“We really feel like we have been welcomed into the community with open arms, and we will be forever grateful,” he said.
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