Ten years ago, Marty Serwinski was known in Brookfield as a real estate developer, a builder. With partner Vince Fucarino, Serwinski bought and rehabbed the commercial building at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Prairie Avenue and attracted new restaurants to the area.
They also bought land a little further east on Brookfield Avenue and built a six-story condominium building, one of the most ambitious residential development projects the village had ever confronted.
With the village board’s approval of a liquor license on Monday night, Serwinski assumed a new title – restaurateur/bar owner. This weekend Serwinski’s newest venture, The Sanctuary at 3747 Grand Blvd., opens for business. The upscale sports bar/restaurant will hold its grand opening after the New Year, Serwinski said.
A bar had been planned for the space for five years, but changes in business partnerships and the economy put those plans on hold, he said.
Initially the plan was to open a business at 3747 Grand Blvd. called Grand Central Bar and Grill, which previously had occupied another location on the street. The prospective owner of that business in 2005 went so far as to petition the village board for a parking variation.
Expected to open in the fall of that year, the plan never got off the ground. Then the economic downturn added the final nail.
“With the recession, it was a domino effect,” Serwinski said. “Right now it’s safe enough to open.”
Serwinski has transformed the former Brookfield Video store into a three-level, upscale sports bar. Except for the plumbing and electrical, Serwinski did the work himself. The open space has a loft feel to it, with exposed roof joists and brick, lots of dark wood trim, black metal railings, hardwood floors and burgundy-colored walls.
He built the wood and marble bar and installed a new kitchen, which will serve items like burgers, steaks and chicken. Serwinski said he hopes to have live entertainment a couple of weekends a month and is marketing the venue as a place for private parties as well.
The main bar area will sport two 50-inch flat-panel TVs and a projection TV, while the upper and lower areas each have four 40-inch flat-panel TVs on the wall. Tap choices will include some craft brews, Serwinski said.
The goal is to attract family and business clientele during the lunch and dinner hours, Serwinski said, and a younger crowd at night.
Mockingbird flies away
This month also signals the debut of another new bar, the Local Bar and Grill at 3733 Grand Blvd., which for the past year or so has been home to Tequila Mockingbird.
The Brookfield village board on Monday night approved creating a liquor license for the new venture, which will be run by Meghan Knox.
According to Steven Campbell, who owns the building, Knox is a Brookfield native who wants to make over the Mockingbird into more of a traditional bar and grill.
In its year-long run, Tequila Mockingbird had a few run-ins with police over entertainment, noise and underage drinking.
According to Campbell, the owner “was not running a well-compliant facility” and he was looking for a change in the way the business operated.
The Local Bar and Grill could open as early as this weekend. It will definitely be open this month, Knox told the village board on Monday.