Winnetka, News

Owners of Wilmette’s Sophia Steak planning French bistro for downtown Winnetka

Loyola Academy alum and noted restaurateur hope to open Pomeroy in late spring

Winnetka’s dining scene is about to get an influx of international flavor as a pair of noted restaurateurs is opening a new French bistro in the village’s downtown.   

Preliminary plans for Pomeroy, a “casual French” restaurant, made their way in front of the Winnetka Village Council Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The new restaurant hopes to open at 844 Spruce St., a vacant one-story building in Winnetka that was for decades the home of Savocchi Glass Company. 

Longtime restaurateur Glenn Keefer addressed the council Feb. 2, expressing excitement about opening another eatery on the North Shore. 

“We’re excited; we’ve had great success in Wilmette at Sophia Steak and it’s going to be the same team opening up Pomeroy,” Keefer said.

The proposed facade of the newly planned restaurant, Pomeroy. | Courtesy of the Village of Winnetka

Documents submitted to the village also list Ballyhoo Hospitality’s Ryan O’Donnell as part of the property ownership group. 

O’Donnell, a Wilmette resident and Loyola Academy graduate, and Keefer are members of the ownership group that opened Sophia Steak in downtown Wilmette in the spring of 2020. 

“Pomeroy is a classic bistro serving traditional favorites in a casual and rustic environment,” O’Donnell says in an application submitted to the village. “We will be creating a neighborhood destination. (Our) exterior will reflect an approachable open design including a revolving door, operable windows and sidewalk cafe.” 

Regarding the design of the building, Keefer said that the front windows will be similar to Sophia, opening so the restaurant can have more than 50 percent of its front open. Doing so will allow Pomeroy “extra opportunities to introduce fresh air in the unfortunate event that we were to go backwards” in COVID-19 mitigations. 

The interior of the space will include booth seating along the walls, several tables near the front of the restaurant, additional seating in back and a bar in the center of the space, Keefer said. 

Trustees approved the restaurant’s request to use a portion of the public right-of-way adjacent to the 844 Spruce St. property during the Feb. 2 meeting.

Winnetka trustees approved the restaurant’s request to extend its outdoor patio 1.5 feet into the public right-of-way.

The council’s approval allows Pomeroy to install a raised terrace for outdoor dining that will extend 1.5 feet into the public right-of-way. The approved extension makes it possible for four additional outdoor tables to be included on the terrace, Keefer said. 

“We appreciate getting that variance. … It gives us the opportunity to put four more tables in and with what we know about outdoor dining now, that’s really critical,” Keefer said. 

Keefer did not delve into the details of the restaurant’s cuisine but did say Pomeroy will feature a chef who “really has some chops for cooking French food.” 

The restaurant will open at 844 Spruce St.., the former home of Savocchi Glass Company.

A precise opening date for the restaurant was not given but Keefer estimated a timeframe of 17 weeks.

“We’re really looking forward to having you in town,” Village President Chris Rintz said.

“We’re so excited,” he added, saying the restaurant will bring “new energy into the downtown area.”

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martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

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