After surviving a rough year for the industry, two restaurants in Barrington are looking ahead with plans to get liquor licenses.
One is Twisted Burger, 228 W. Northwest Highway, a family-owned restaurant that wants to serve wine and beer.
The other is Egg Harbor Cafe, 125 W. Main St., which plans to serve alcoholic cocktails.
The village board on Monday night approved adding two liquor licenses to the total allowed within village limits. That was to accommodate Twisted Burger's request for a Class 1-B license, which allows the sale and serving of beer and wine for consumption on premises, and a Class 2-B license, which allows the sale of beer and wine for consumption off premises.
Village staff members said they are waiting for an application from Egg Harbor Café for a Class 1-A license, which would allow the sale and serving of alcoholic liquor for consumption on premises.
Twisted Burger's owner didn't respond to requests for comment. An employee said the restaurant is looking forward to serving alcohol to customers.
Egg Harbor Cafe wants to serve alcoholic drinks like Bloody Marys and mimosas that will pair well with the restaurant's breakfast and lunch menu, manager Tim Best said.
The Lake Forest location of Egg Harbor Cafe was the first to start serving liquor, followed by Schaumburg, he said. The model was so successful that sometimes customers walk into the Barrington restaurant expecting to find liquor, he said.
After weathering the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of some valued employees, things right now feel "really great," Best said.
"I see each day more and more regulars are coming back, after seeing them call and pick up orders all this time. That's one of the greatest feelings I have had, I can tell you, as a manager."
Best said he's worked at various Egg Harbor Cafes for 11 years and this is his second stint at the Barrington restaurant, which is in the heart of downtown. "It's a family feel restaurant. To me, it's just a blast to work with and work for. You feel you're a part of something bigger."
Both Barrington restaurants received business loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the COVID-19 pandemic, records show.