Longtime staple in Downtown Naperville, Jimmy’s Grill, closed in October. Now, new management has taken over to reopen temporarily as Bev’s before starting construction on a new establishment with a rooftop patio – Cali’s.
Jimmy’s to Bev’s
Pending permits and state licenses, Bev’s may be ready to open by the first week of December. New building tenant Will Cullen, who is behind Empire Burgers + Brew in Downtown Naperville, said the restaurant will serve comfort food with a smaller menu. Bev’s is named after the longtime owner of the building, Beverly Patterson Frier.
Cullen wanted to pay tribute to Frier, in part because of his mom. She started a furniture store in Downers Grove 20 years ago, similar to Bev who bought the downtown spot on Washington Street in 1970 to start her own business.
“It’s an inspirational thing as us small town entrepreneurs kind of have a bond and once you kind of see somebody similar to you and has similar experiences,” said Cullen. “[She] reminded me of my mom as well, it’s just kind of a cool thing to do.” “[I told him] well you can certainly use my name I don’t know what good it’s going to do you,” said Frier. “I was happy to help him, if my name helps him.”
Cullen said he wanted to have the “pop up” restaurant available to the community while they work on the transition to Cali’s. He anticipates Bev’s to stay open six to nine months before construction begins. Guests can expect to find some menu items planned for Cali’s on Bev’s menu “to try them out.”
Bev’s to Cali’s
Cali’s, short for California, will serve upscale food including seafood, steak, and other wood-fired entrees. “My wife and I went out to Napa Valley when we got engaged and we stopped by a Hog Island oyster place and I probably had the best wood-fired oyster with a chipotle butter on it in my life,” said Cullen. “And just kind of at that moment it was kind of a cool time we were both sharing – which kind of based the restaurant around that one bite.”
The plan is to add more space, including where Jimmy’s patio was. However, they will maintain that “indoor/outdoor feel” with sliding doors and windows because “it’s such an iconic corner with people always sitting outside there,” said Cullen. Construction will also include a second floor for a rooftop patio with a bar.
Cullen is behind other downtown establishments including Empire Burgers + Brew, Hizemans, and the Northcott Liquorette. He is also a Naperville resident. Frier said she got many calls to rent out the space from businesses in Chicago and national chains, but “I like to hire hometown people,” she said.
“Naperville has been so good to me,” said Frier. “When I started in business downtown merchants, they’d stop at my store – ‘how are you doing Bev? What’s new?’ It was just a wonderful – open arms to me. It’s my payback time.”
The plan is to open Cali’s at 245 S Washington Street in late 2022/early 2023.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
photo courtesy: Will Cullen