As the craft beer industry continues to grow, especially in the Chicago area, one Forest Park owner has taken advantage and used the opportunity to reinvent his bar.
Matt Mathey, owner of Chalk bar, renamed and redesigned the Madison Street hotspot after it spent many years as Murphy's Pub.
In addition to a large selection of craft beers, Chalk now features a large upstairs party room, which has a private bar, a stage for live music, a much larger selection of beer and a limited menu to give patrons some food options.
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The highlight and namesake for the bar is the chalkboard walls on which patrons can draw and write.
"We just wanted to do something new with the chalkboard concept," Mathey said. "If you don't change, it's just going to go by the wayside."
Mathey, who worked selling beer for six years, now has his own guy who began brining him samples of some craft beers, including Chicago-area breweries like 5 Rabbit and Revolution.
Chalk has 20 beers on draft and about 160 different beers offered. As he learns more about the variety of beers, he's educating some customers as well.
"They're willing to learn. They want to try new things," he said. "People are loving the selection. Some come in here and start with a few on tap and move their way down the line when they come back. Now I've also switched."
Chalk is located at 7414 W. Madison St. in Forest Park. For more information or to see a full beer list, go to Chalk's website.
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