Burnsies Uptown set to open in 2019


Thomas Evans

545 North has already started to clear out its restaurant, Burnsies Uptown is expected to open in early 2019. They will serve breakfast and lunch at first, then move to dinner later in the year.

In 2019, a new all day restaurant, Burnsies Uptown, run by John Durning, will be opening where another local restaurant, 545 North, was previously located.

The new place will be open for all meals. Breakfast and lunch will be served when they first open for business and dinner will come after the restaurant settles in with  the flow of breakfast and lunch.

According to a video posted to the Burnsies Uptown Facebook page by Durning, for breakfast, the restaurant will serve acai bowls, bagels brought in from a local bagel shop in Lincolnwood and other traditional breakfast menu items. There will be coffee as well, served by a local coffee shop that has yet to be named.

Durning expressed much excitement for the deli and sandwiches that they will be selling because it has been one of his dreams since he can remember, right along with opening a pizza place

“I lived in New york and there were all these great deli shops I went to all the time so I wanted to bring that back here,” said Durning

During the lunch hour, the restaurant will switch gears and focus on deli sandwiches, amongst other items.  

John Durning and Steve Burns will be running the business, with Durning operating the restaurant and Burns contributing as an investor. The pair have been friends for years, so when Durning came to Burns with the idea of doing a joint restaurant, Burns knew it was the right fit.

“We have been a great duo and haven’t had any big fights yet and are on the same page for everything regarding the restaurant,” expressed Durning over the phone.

Burns has had experience as an business investor as well as in the restaurant industry but his career took him in a different direction; he always told his wife that he would at some point get back into the industry. Durning has experience in the restaurant industry with the opening of his first restaurant, Pizzeria DeVille, in 2014, which is also on MainStreet Libertyville.

The namesake of Burnsies Uptown was a collaborative effort of Durning nd Burns from the urban dictionary definition of “Burnsies” and an idea from a close friend to call the place Uptown Bagels. However, it took at least 30 to 40 other possible names to end up with the current title.

“We both agreed that we weren’t going to name the place after one of us but burnsies fit perfectly and it doesn’t refer to [Mr. Burns],” Duning explained.

The restaurant itself will also be getting some remodels done to fit the needs of the new business. The previous restaurant had a  bar area for customers at night but it will now be switched into an eating place where customers can watch the food being prepared. In the back seating room, Durning and Burns are looking into making it more of a takeout and catering area, as they want to expand the business as much as possible in those aspects.

“Our biggest audiences will hopefully be LHS students and catering events as well as some possibilities with food trucks,” Durning says.