New wine buyer brings Bistro to French Market in Western Springs
Mecenat's new wine buyer, Greg Hayes, shows some of his selections during a recent French Market in downtown Western Springs. | Viki Gonia—for Sun-Times Media
Appetizers: Half off from 4-6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday
Wine tastings: Free from 2-4 p.m. Saturdays
Live music: Every Friday and Saturday, schedule online
Retail wine shop: Open 2-10 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays
Updated: October 28, 2012 6:18AM
WESTERN SPRINGS — Wandering through the French Market, one might happen upon a familiar local merchant.
Greg Hayes, the new wine buyer for Mecenat Bistro and Gathering Place, sets up a booth each week to sell bottles and offer tastes, as well as to get the word out about this restaurant at 821 W. Burlington Ave., Western Springs, formerly occupied by Taste of Vino, a couple doors down from Kirschbaum’s Bakery.
General Manager Kelly Hogan loves the neighborhood vibe of Western Springs and its friendly residents. Setting up at the French Market helps the restaurant connect with residents.
“It’s funny that some people in town still don’t know we’re here,” Hogan says.
The Mecenat hostess sometimes has a hard time returning to the front of house, as customers will stop to chat with friends and neighbors as she leads them to their tables. That conviviality between customers adds to the comfortable, homey feel of the restaurant.
The restaurant has enjoyed being involved in community events such as SpringFest, held in May 2012 in front of the restaurant and featuring music, food and beverages. They plan future events with other area business such as Snackers, Kirschbaum’s and Casey’s Market.
Mecenat’s menu is mostly American Contemporary with some European influences, and their new fall menu starts Sept. 25. Their chef, the celebrated Jonathan Harootunian, began his tenure with Mecenat in May 2012.
Hayes will also be adding to the wine menu, which has up to this point mostly focused on California wines.
“We’ll be adding some Italian, Spanish and Argentinian wines,” Hogan says.