GLENVIEW NATIVE DUKE Ross, the affable co-owner and operating partner of Main Street Social—Libertyville’s newest hot spot—is a man with a mission.
“We want to please every guest, every single time,” says Ross. He’s a man driven to provide every customer with “an A-plus” experience. “We don’t just want to feed people or quench their thirst. We want to give them a complete experience, and it’s very important for us to create that.” Given his background, that attitude is no surprise. Management stints with the DineAmic Group at Chicago’s Siena Tavern and Bar Siena taught him the right way to run a restaurant; they also introduced him to his co-owner and operating partner, C.J. Sojka, and Main Street Social’s executive chef, Joshua Ramirez.
Right out of the gate, it looks like a winner. Main Street Social is a welcome addition to Libertyville’s Restaurant Row. The 2,300-square-foot space has a hip urban vibe, with reclaimed brick, tone-on-tone gray wallpaper, dark woods, exposed ductwork and eye-catching light fixtures. The suburban location translates to ample street parking, although there’s a valet available on Fridays and Saturdays when the street really rocks.
The fare here is superfresh, as everything is made in-house, from pastas and flatbread dough to the gelato. Start your meal with one of the craft cocktails, all named for Chicago streets. The Oak Street, an enticing blend of mezcal vida, yellow chartreuse, lime, guajillo and mango, has just the right balance of sweet, hot, smoky and bitter, hitting every taste bud.
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