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Local News

O'Toole's headed to Libertyville

Pub to open later than expected

LIBERTYVILLE – Timothy O’Toole’s soon-to-be third location, O’Toole’s of Libertyville, will open later than expected.

Owners Humberto Martinez Jr. and wife Sara McKinnon, of Long Grove, said the pub will open in “late summer,” as opposed to the expected July 30 date.

O’Toole’s is leasing the old Mickey Finn’s Brewery space at 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Libertyville, after Mickey Finn’s purchased a building down the street.

“It took [Mickey Finn’s Brewery] so long to get out. We’re way behind,” Martinez said.

Timothy O’Toole’s other locations are in Chicago and Gurnee, which opened in 1992 and in 2009, respectively. The Libertyville location will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Martinez said he and McKinnon have been looking for a space in Libertyville for four years. He said McKinnon grew up in Libertyville, as did many people with the company.

“Sarah’s folks are still here. Her brother is still here. … The chef [Corey Grupe] is in Libertyville. The two additional investors are from Libertyville,” Martinez said. “It’s a whole Libertyville project except for me.”

McKinnon said the new O’Toole’s will be much more food-oriented than the chain's Chicago and Gurnee locations, which are Irish pubs. McKinnon said O’Toole’s of Libertyville will offer a larger and healthier kids menu as well.

“The kids menu will have options like fruits and vegetables as a side dish instead of french fries because a lot of kids are eating that way now,” she said.

Martinez said the wine list will be twice the size of their other locations, while still including their original 48-craft beer list.

One of the several $1.5 million renovations to the building is a walk-in cooler, which is what was Mickey Finn’s brew house. The cooler will be similar to the Yard House’s in Glenview and will have a consistent temperature of 36 degrees, Martinez said.

“We realized why Mickey Finn’s moved, and it’s because it’s a small brew house,” he said. “So they outgrew it, so we kind of felt that we wouldn’t set ourselves up for the best position to do well if we outgrew out of it also.”

Martinez said the cooler will have thermal pane windows installed so patrons can look into the cooler without much fogging. A digital display screen will track how much liquid is available in each steel barrel, which will blink red to inform patrons when each is running short.

The space seats roughly 250 people and the couple plan to extend the patio to the sidewalk for more space.

“We won’t seat any more people than [Mickey Finn’s Brewery] used to, but you’ll have a lot more elbow room,” Martinez, Jr. said. “Their patio was a little tight.”

The basement is closed to the public, which will be used for storing beverages. The second floor will be used for private events, tastings and comedy nights. It will be open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Martinez said Comedians You Should Know, a Chicago-based comedian group that has worked with O’Toole’s for roughly five years, will be at the pub once a month performing standup.

An outdoor, 37-foot fireplace is to be built against the left patio wall in front of the pub, which will stand roughly eight feet above the current building. A shaded walkway with installed heating will expand over the outdoor patio so patrons can eat outside during cooler months of the year, McKinnon said.

Martinez said they plan to provide valet parking and hope the village of Libertyville builds a negotiated parking structure south of O’Toole’s.

McKinnon said they would like to use the parking spaces of other local businesses that close earlier than the pub. O’Toole’s is also negotiating for the 36 parking spaces behind the building, which Mickey Finn’s Brewery used, but nothing has been finalized between the pub and landlord.

Martinez said the pub will host several grand opening events once completed.

“This has been Libertyville’s bar since 1936, so we’d like to continue that tradition,” he said.

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