Empire Restaurant Group Pilots Bev’s as Planning for Cali’s Continues

Will Cullen and The Empire Restaurant Group have taken over the former Jimmy’s Grill in Naperville and big plans are ahead.
Empire Restaurant Group Pilots Bev’s as Planning for Cali’s Continues
Photo: Bev's
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After Jimmy’s Grill closed down in October of last year, Will Cullen and his team at Empire Restaurant Group took over the space in downtown Naperville.

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Just this week, the group debuted their fine-dining liquor bar pop-up Bev’s, named in honor of the longtime building owner Beverly Patterson-Frier. And while Bev’s currently offers Midcentury modern vibes; upscale, made-from-scratch fare; and craft cocktails, Cullen is already planning its replacement.

The Daily Herald reports that all the while Bev’s operates at 245 S. Washington Street, Empire Restaurant Group is gearing up to over-haul the site and add as many as 5,000 square-feet to the building. There, the group will open Cali’s, an open kitchen concept with a wood-fired grill.

Renovations will expand the building to Washington Street, which will cover up the patio space; accordion-style doors will allow for an open-air feel in the warmer months. The team is also designed a rooftop bar and dining area for the eatery’s second floor.

Once alterations are complete–Bev’s will shut down during the process–the space will transform into Cali’s. Steaks and seafood are among the dishes the new restaurant will specialize in.

Cullen told the Daily Herald that Cali’s is more than a year out and the timeline will depend on the success of Bev’s. We reached out to Cullen for further comment but did not hear back at the time of publication.

To learn more about Empire Restaurant Group visit www.empirerestaurantgroup.com.

Photo: Bev’s
Photo: Bev’s

Eve Payne

Eve Payne is a freelance writer with an MFA in poetry from Syracuse University. In 2019, she received the Leonard Brown Prize for her poetry, which has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Nashville Review, and RHINO.
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