There’s a new watering hole in downtown Palatine.
The owners of and in Crystal Lake are taking what they’ve learned in the bar business and they’re applying it to an entirely new concept.
Smith Street Station, 180 N. Smith Street, located next door to Durty Nellies, is scheduled to open April 27. It is aimed at being place for “conversation and cocktails,” said one of the owners, Jim Dolezal. Dolezal’s business partner is his brother, Mark Dolezal.
“This will be more of a neighborhood bar,” Dolezal said.
While the two bars may be part of the same building, Dolezal said they are geared toward two different crowds.
Unlike Durty Nellies, there will be no cover charge, which is typically a deterrent for people who just want to have a drink or two without the crowd or noise. Its website reads, “Smith Street Station welcomes the mature, well-dressed patron at least 25 years of age.”
“We wanted to send the message that this is not a sports bar,” said manager Mark Knudson. That means while jeans are acceptable, sports jerseys, hats and hoodies can be left at home, he said.
When the new Durty Nellies was constructed in 2003, Dolezal said he intended the Smith Street Station space to be used as a bakery, and since it was close to the train station, he figured commuters would be interested in that sort of thing.
But the idea never panned out and after nine years of remaining vacant, Dolezal said it was time to do something with the building.
Knudson was brought on in November to help design the handcrafted drinks and tapas-style menu, which Knudson calls “sophisticated finger food.” The cocktails are made using fresh, local ingredients, Knudson said.
The interior boasts generous bar seating, as well as several couches to lounge on. The artwork, which is available for purchase, comes from Paper Crown Gallery in Arlington Heights and will be refreshed monthly. There is even a hidden 80-inch TV that can be used for meetings when the space is rented out.
Smith Street Station will be open Thursdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., with the intent to expand hours to include Wednesdays.