All ALE, SpartaN

Appears in the June 2022 issue.

By Peter Gianopulos

Occasionally, Chris Pucci, the director of operations for the sprawling new Spartan Ale House in Naperville, can’t help but feel a little wistful driving to work. Pucci, who grew up a stone’s throw from the new location says Spartan is one part modern Greek diner and one part a Cheers-inspired sports bar. “We want it to be the kind of place where everyone knows your name,” he says. 

Granted, Norm & Co. didn’t have this many options: dozens of local craft beers, high-end pub fare, plus a family-friendly dining room and expansive outdoor patio. The food itself is not only designed to fill you up (a pound of mozzarella is required to make each of the house’s breaded mozzarella cheese “bricks”) but also occasionally surprise you: Anyone for Greek-style spring rolls with tzatziki sauce? 

But what makes Pucci, as well as co-owners Michael Poulakidas and Ron Woerman, proudest is that Spartan was built by locals for locals. “I guess you can say we’re the OGs of this area,” Pucci says. “We want our customers to feel the spirit of the old Naperville and the excitement of today’s more modern Naperville, too.” 

Photo courtesy of Final Stretch Media