Best Of Chicago

Q&A With Neighborhood Bar: Wells On Wells

September 15, 2011 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Wells On Wells

Photo Credit: Wells On Wells

wellsonwells Q&A With Neighborhood Bar: Wells On Wells

(credit: Wells On Wells)

Wells on Wells
1617 N Wells St


Chicago, IL 60614

(312) 944-1617
Mon 5 pm-2 am
Tue-Fri 11 am-2 am
Sat 10:30 am-3 am
Sun 10:30 am-2 am
www.wellsonwells.com

There’s no diggin’ for reasons to visit Wells on Wells. The neighborhood bar is just seven years old and has become a cornerstone on Old Town’s bustling Wells Street. The bar succeeds for many reasons, and one is it’s a family-run business. As Jessica DeVos (general manager and head bartender) attests, the bar simply tries to bring good food and good booze to good people. Read a little about what DeVos says you can expect from the pub.

Q: Jessica, tell me a little about your background and work at Wells on Wells.

A: I have been in the business for 14 years, six of them at Wells on Wells. I run the bar along with the assistant manager Emma Paladino (also my best friend of 10 years!) and the two owners, Michael Endrizzi and Sam Post. We’ve all been friends for a long time, and Sam and I have been a couple for five, so it’s truly a “family” business for us.

Q: What season do you see the most customers?

A: Because of our large beer garden and sidewalk cafe, we are definitely busiest in the warmer months, but we are also popular with Second City crowds.

holding pg Q&A With Neighborhood Bar: Wells On Wells

(credit: wellsonwells.com)

Q: Do you find your customers to be mostly regulars, an after-work crowd, tourists, or a mix?

A: We have an awesome crew of regulars who we can count on seeing anywhere from once or twice a week, to almost every day. Because of our Old Town location we are also popular with a younger “weekend” clientele. I think our simplicity is what people like. We don’t put on airs and we don’t try to be something we’re not. We’re just a group of people that like to hang out together, work hard, and try our best to make our customers happy – with good food and good booze.

Q: Does a change in season change any aspects like beers or different type of customers?

A: Both our food menu and beer menu do change based upon the season, with things like ceviche and vodka lemonade pitchers popular in the summer, fall beers for the fall, and heavier pastas and soups in the winter.

Q: Name a couple features that make the bar unique.

A: I think part of what makes us different from a lot of other bars is the loyalty and closeness of our staff. Many have been there for a couple of years (some even since we opened almost seven years ago). We are a tight-knit crew. Because of that we, as managers and owners, are able to trust our staff and know that they are always looking out for us, and our customers’ best interest. They genuinely care about the place, and we care about them, so in the end everyone wins – or so we hope.

Q: What’s a memorable moment from working there?

A: I love that we’ve seen staff members, regulars and friends get married, have babies, and sing karaoke in my basement at 4 in the morning! A couple of us do a mean “Careless Whisper,” which has been getting some serious play on the jukebox at Wells lately.

Jenny Schooley is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She currently works in publishing for an academic organization.
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