Former Mundelein Fire Station to Transform into Tonality Brewing Co.

Business partners Zach Gelfand, Don Phillips, and Tony Bena will bring a full-service restaurant, indoor and outdoor dining, and delicious brews to 169 Seymour Road.
Former Mundelein Fire Station to Transform into Tonality Brewing Co.
Rendering: Official
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In July 2021, Tonality Brewing Company owners Zach Gelfand, Don Phillips, and Tony Bena purchased 169 North Seymour Road from the Village of Mundelein with the aim of converting the building, a former fire station built in the 1940s, into a full-service restaurant and brewery. Over an email with What Now Chicago, Gelfand says late a 2022 opening is the goal for Tonality Brewing Company.

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“We had our eye on the property for over a year before the village of Mundelein reached out to see if we’d be interested in purchasing the space,” Gelfand shared. “It’s a great location in a part of Mundelein that is going under an amazing transformation.”

The team was thinking ahead when they secured the building. “We knew we wanted to purchase a building that we could grow into over the course of a few years, and the prospects of one day having both a front patio and rooftop patio were too great to pass up. The village government was also a draw. We have been continually impressed with their responsiveness, creativity, and flexibility,” Gelfand added.

Renovations to the building will make room for a first-floor brewery, full-service kitchen, dining room, and front patio. The team will keep the original garage doors in place, which will open onto the patio space. Once Tonality is a little more established, the team plans to turn the patio into a four-seasons room and add a party space upstairs with a rooftop patio.

Bena is Tonality’s brewer, and he brings the skills to brew any style of beer as well as a creative palate, shared Gelfand. “One thing I love about Tony is that there are no half measures. If a beer needs the extra ‘oomph’ from another pound of hops, there’s no debate, we are going to do it.” A Russian Imperial Stout and Double IPAs will certainly be on the menu.

In addition to full-body brews, Tonality is developing a full-service restaurant featuring gastropub-style fare. Look for “Things like duck confit tacos, a killer smash burger, short ribs, etc,” says Gelfand. “Don’s a great chef and you are reminding me that he should be making me dinner soon. Don, I’m coming over!”

Well, it may still be a little while before Chef Phillips is whipping up meals for the rest of us.

“This has been a labor of love ever since the three of us (Don, Tony, and I) started planning our brewery. As is true, I’m sure, across many business start ups – take your estimated timeline and triple it. That said, we’re getting closer to being able to move to underwriting our loan,” shared Gelfand. “As long as we don’t discover anything dramatic during construction, 2022 is feasible.”

While Tonality Brewing Company doesn’t have a website just yet, you can follow along with project updates by finding the brewery on social media.

Floor Plans: Official
Eve Payne

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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