Forest Park restaurant opening Oak Park location

Scratch Kitchen to open on Lake St. near Oak Park Ave.

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Fans of Forest Park's Scratch Kitchen and Lounge will soon be able to crack open a cold one at a new location coming to Oak Park.

The second Scratch Kitchen aims to open later this year at 733 Lake St., according to owner and head chef Patrick O'Brien.

O'Brien, who has worked as general manager of Avenue Ale House, 825 S. Oak Park Ave., and executive chef of Cucina Paradiso, 814 North Blvd., said he's had success with the first Scratch location, which opened four years ago, and has always aimed to expand.

He said the new restaurant will seat about 120 people, roughly double the size of his Forest Park restaurant, and will have a similar style and feel as the original location.

"The burgers, mac and cheese and fries will take center stage like in Forest Park," O'Brien said.

He said the only main difference at the new Scratch will be a more upscale bar with craft beers on tap.

"We'll still do cans of beer," he said, one of Scratch's signature offerings.

Oak Park Scratch will also feature a 3 p.m. menu with comfort foods like fried chicken, meatloaf and pot roast, O'Brien said. And like the Forest Park restaurant, the new Scratch will have live music, bingo and trivia.

"You'll still know it is Scratch," he said.

He said the build-out of the restaurant and getting the proper permits and licenses are currently in the works, and he hopes to have the doors open by Nov. 1.

O'Brien always aimed to open additional locations but has no plans to expand into the city of Chicago.

"I don't want to go down and compete with all the funky burger places in the city," he said. "I'm the funky burger place in the suburbs."

David King & Associates served as the leasing agent for the new restaurant.

"I couldn't be happier with Scratch opening a second location in the Oak Park and Lake business district," he said. "It's offerings of gourmet hamburgers and the mac and cheese will serve a more moderately priced, fun segment that I believe is missing from the area."


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