EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The Sheerin brothers announce the Trenchermen
It was getting to the point that even Mike and Pat Sheerin's mom was getting impatient.
"She was like, am I going to have to sell this house so you guys can get this done or what?" Pat says.
But now, mom Sheerin—and the rest of Chicago—can stop pestering the brothers. The Trenchermen, the restaurant Mike has been talking about since , finally has a space and a (rough) opening date.
For the record, mom didn't have to sell her house. Instead, the brothers have teamed up with Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner, who own Bangers & Lace and who have their hand in many other restaurants, including .
It was Nightwood owner Jason Hammel who hooked the Sheerins up with Eisler and Heisner. Eisler and Heisner had a space—2039 W North Ave, the space that formerly held Spring—they didn't know what to do with; the Sheerin brothers had a business plan they'd had difficulty getting investors for. The four guys had a man date at. "It was rather loud," Pat remembers. "I don't even know if we heard what one another was saying." Obviously, the brothers got their point across—The Trenchermen is now slated for a winter 2012 opening (late January, early February).
For Mike and Pat, the opportunity to cook together is one that they've been looking forward to for a long time. The two worked together at both the now-defunct Toque and at, but have since gone off to do their own things—Pat at the and Mike at Blackbird and WD-50. Pat put in his notice at the Signature Room last week. "It was a very bittersweet and emotional day," he says. "I'm leaving one family for my original family."
Details about what exactly the Trenchermen will be like are still hazy. Mike says the guiding principle of the food will be to serve "familiar flavors presented in a unique or different way." Regarding the room, he says that "we're trying to bridge the gap between fine dining and casual dining. We're trying to be a boisterous atmosphere; at the same time, we want to have points of refined service." In terms of drinks, the brothers know at least one thing: They're hoping to serve Champagne on tap.
The Sheerin brothers grew up in Edgewater and have cooked since the day they left high school. Pat, 37, got his start cooking summers at the Taste of Chicago. Mike, 35, followed in his brother's footsteps. They are known for different styles—Mike has a reputation for being more molecularly-inclined than his brother—but both say that their past cooking jobs have had them feeling "restrained." About combining their separate styles, Pat likens he and Mike to "a couple of rings—if you put them together, we're that space in the middle."