The second time was a charm at Monday’s village council meeting for the owners of Scratch Kitchen in their quest to acquire a liquor license. At the village’s Dec. 17 meeting, expanding the “Class A” category of restaurant/bar license by ordinance to include Scratch was never even allowed to get to discussion, as none of the four commissioners would second the motion-to-approve. This time, the ordinance sailed through, and Mayor Anthony Calderone noted it was the first ordinance of the year.

The restaurant had a soft opening Friday night, with “about 100 family and friends” said co-owner and chef Patrick O’Brien.

“We were pretty packed,” he said. “It put good pressure on the staff. This is the time to make mistakes and we’re making them.”

The simple menu of burgers, fries and gourmet mac-and-cheese is still being tweaked, O’Brien said. The menu as-is lists ground beef, lamb and veggie burgers, French fries with ingredients like truffle and parmesan and macaroni-and-cheese with prosciutto, peas and roasted poblano peppers for $9. O’Brien calls this a “living menu” where he will add items and serve specials, depending on available fresh ingredients.

Once liquor is approved, O’Brien will be serving craft beers, in cans, which he maintains are more environmentally friendly.

On Saturday, the restaurant opened to the public for the first time. Dining in the early evening were Tina Brown, a former Forest Parker, along with her fiancé, father and brother.

“We used to come here when it was Dekos,” Brown said. “We’ve been watching this place as it was coming along.” She pointed to a blackboard above the front door scrawled with beer names.

“Burgers and craft beer are my two favorite things, and it looks like their beer list is great.”

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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