Garfield Park resident Erika Burdzilauskas was familiar with the large Dutch Colonial on Shelby Street that once housed her neighborhood bike shop, Joe’s Cycles. When the owner moved and the site became available, she took the opportunity to turn the place into her own local haunt, The Townsend. She and co-owner Eric Zudak spent months repurposing the two-story venue, which welcomes visitors in the door with a cozy cobalt-walled lounge. Guests can sink into the leather sofa, and “play cards or have a sandwich and a cocktail,” Burdzilauskas says.
The dining room features a piano and open kitchen. But the two owners (who patterned the house bar after their favorite no-frills Chicago spot, Danny’s Tavern) predict that Townsend’s biggest draw will be out the back door, where a fenced-in area offers picnic seating and a stage. They have their sights set on a spring opening, but they’ve already branded the venture as “Garfield Park’s backyard.” 2242 Shelby St., thetownsendindy.com