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Pastoral Cheese Shop To Open Concept Bistro On Broadway

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new concept bistro adjacent to the popular Pastoral Artisan Cheese shop is the latest new venture coming to the vibrant stretch of Broadway in the East Lakeview neighborhood.

Pastoral announced earlier this week that in the fall, the 40-seat bistro Bar Pastoral will open at 2947 N. Broadway.

The cheese shop has operated next door at 2945 N. Broadway, in the same building, since 2004.

The owners of Pastoral say the new bistro will feature with hot and cold plates and other light menu items inspired by the cheese and charcuterie options at the adjoining store. There will also be creative cocktails with seasonal ingredients, and a selection of limited-distribution wines and craft beers.

The ambience will feature soothing tones, exposed brick and “roof-defining antiques from near and far,” according to Pastoral. Matt Nardella of Moss Design – who is also behind the interior at the 2 Sparrows brunch restaurant nearby on Diversey Parkway – will design the interior of Bar Pastoral.

Pastoral co-owner Greg O’Neill presented the proposal for the new cheese and wine bar concept to the South East Lake View Neighbors Association at the group’s meeting this past Monday. On the Facebook page for the organization, O’Neill said the concept received a “warm reception.”

The storefront at 2947 N. Broadway is currently occupied by the designed jewelry and handbag shop Spare Parts. It is separated from the Pastoral storefront by an entry door leading to the apartments on the upper stories of the building.

It has not been learned how Spare Parts will be affected by the new bistro.

Bar Pastoral is one of many new businesses that have either recently opened, or soon will, on Broadway between Belmont Avenue and Diversey Parkway. Some have met with warmer receptions than others.

Late last month, Wal-Mart confirmed that it has executed a lease for a store in the Broadway at Surf building, on the west side of Broadway just south of Surf Street. The retailer will open a Neighborhood Market store focused mostly on groceries in an operation that will combine three storefronts – two long-empty spaces once occupied by a Wolf Camera store and a PetSmart, and a third currently occupied by a Cost Plus World Market.

The World Market store is currently under liquidation, and is slated to close June 17 to make way for the Wal-Mart. Afterward, Wal-Mart will begin renovation of the space and plans to open early next year.

The planned Wal-Mart drew heated protests when rumors first spread about it back in December 2010. Neighbors have expressed concern that the Wal-Mart will drive the numerous small, independent stores along Broadway and nearby Diversey Parkway out of business, and permanently change the character of the neighborhood for worse.

But as it stands, independent businesses are booming along Broadway. In addition to Bar Pastoral, another bar and bistro – this one specializing in craft beer – will also be opening in the fall a short distance to the north.

Dryhop will open at 3155 N. Broadway, in a space that had been vacant since the Pleasure Chest adult store moved out in 2006. The upscale neighborhood restaurant will feature “moderately priced and locally sourced cuisine inspired by the culinary techniques of Western Europe.”

Nearby, a new Chicago outpost of the Los Angeles-based Laugh Factory comedy club opened earlier this year at 3175 N. Broadway, in the space vacated by the Lakeshore Theater in 2010.

Meanwhile, another new restaurant, Frog N Snail, recently opened at 3124 N. Broadway. The location had been occupied by Sura, a Thai bistro with spherical swings suspended from the ceiling, which closed last year.

Leading the boom in the new businesses on Broadway was a Hustler Hollywood adult store, which opened at 3161 N. Broadway last summer, in the other of the two storefronts in the building where Dryhop will open. Reckless Records had occupied the space before moving across the street a year earlier.

Also last summer, an older adult store that was a lone throwback to a seedier era closed a couple of blocks south. Adult Fantasy at 2928 N. Broadway, an old-fashioned adult bookstore with private video viewing booths, had operated under various names since the 1970s.

Adult Fantasy remains shuttered, with its old orange and black sign still hanging over the sidewalk. But in another storefront in the same building, entrepreneur Philip Tadros plans to open the new Bow & Truss coffee roasting house at 2934 N. Broadway, in a space that until recently had housed the headquarters of Tadros’ digital design agency.

In addition to its Broadway location, Pastoral cheese shop also operates a store at 53 E. Lake St. downtown, and at 131 N. Clinton St. in the Chicago French Market.

Alpana Singh, the host of the WTTW-Channel 11 program “Check Please,” reported earlier this year that she had been passing her time working as a cheesemonger at Pastoral, although she did not say which location.