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Popular Lunch Spot Adding Alcohol to Menu

Village board gave Sweetwater Deli permission to soon begin offering beer and wine at its location in downtown Lemont.

Sweetwater Deli may be well known for its home-made chicken noodle soup and chicken salad  piled high on a pretzel roll, but owner Annette Gioiosa is looking forward to adding yet another category to the menu.

The Lemont Village Board on Monday paved the way for Sweetwater to obtain a liquor license -- and Gioiosa expects to begin selling beer and wine at her downtown deli and café within a couple of weeks.

“We will be selling wine by the glass, and also doing some off-the-shelf wine,” Gioiosa said. “We will also serve a couple of typical beers, like MGD, Corona and Heineken, as well as some specialty beers.”

Since Gioiosa and her husband, Dan, opened the deli and café at 316 Canal St. in October 2010, Sweetwater has attracted a loyal following for its hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads and pastas. Customers also stop in to take home deli meats, cheeses, fresh bread and side dishes – as well as fresh fruit and veggies, snacks, pastries, cooking products and more.

But the deli owners have been looking for ways to build on the success of their lunchtime hours, when diners fill every seat in the cozy seating area on most days.

Gioiosa hopes that soon, more diners will come out for dinner as well, and complement their meal with a glass of beer or wine. Sweetwater is also expanding its dinnertime menu, which Gioiosa and her staff are in the process of perfecting.

 “We will keep it simple, but good,” Gioiosa said of the planned additions to the dinner menu. “We will serve dishes like pastas, chicken parmesan, fried chicken … and desserts. We are going to step it up a notch – but customers can always stop by for a sandwich, too.”

A little dinner music …

Recently, Sweetwater has begun featuring live entertainment on Fridays from 4-8 p.m. This week, musicians/singers Matt Mifflin and Elijah Svoboda will delight patrons with a wide variety of music styles, from ‘40s and ‘50s tunes to more modern fare.

Gioiosa said Mifflin, who teaches at Allegro Music and Dance Academy across the street, has also been “tossing around the idea” of providing his young students an opportunity to occasionally play at Sweetwater to help acclimate them to performing in front of a live audience. She anticipates the student performances could begin in October or November.

“I’m really excited about this,” Gioiosa said of the upcoming changes at Sweetwater. “I think the downtown area is really great – it’s really coming together.”

Gavin Quinn September 27, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Sounds like a plan, Jaxx. It sounds like you're a person I wouldn't want to run into there anyways. As you were!
Jaxx September 27, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Judging by all the new attempts at bringing in business its obviously lacking. I'm not the only one who feels this way. If it weren't broke why try and fix it? Why go there for chicken parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs when the best Italian restaurant in lemont is next-door?
Mary Van September 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM
I've been to this establishment and DID NOT smell raw nasty sewage. The employees were warm, welcoming, and courteous. The food was prepared quickly, and was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. Businesses have the right to try new menu items as they look ahead into their future, and that does not mean they are doing poorly. And......I am not the only one that feels this way.
Lisa Laning September 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I've been here many times and it has never smelled like sewage. It's a very cute place, warm and inviting. And the food has always been good.
Annette Gioiosa September 27, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Thanks for all the nice comments. We are constantly looking to improve in every aspect which is why we feel the beer and wine will serve our customers well here. We are also looking to expand our menu in the future as well. As most of you know, its important to keep customers coming back and interested which is why its important to bring in new items. For anyone that did not have an enjoyable experience we invite them back to try our homemade soups which were featured on Chicago's Best as well as our freshly prepared sandwiches. Sweetwater Deli looks to continue to grow with all our loyal customers.

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