First Draft Opens its doors to Grayslake

First Draft Grayslake, which opened in the summer, is a welcome addition to the downtown area.


A view of Downtown Grayslake from the lower patio at First Draft. Photo by Hayley Breines

Hayley Breines, A&E Editor & News Editor

After opening on July 10, First Draft Grayslake has already become a booming hotspot in downtown Grayslake. Although there have been many challenges with opening due to COVID restrictions, the restaurant and brewery has been able to open its patio and bar to the public. First Draft is publicly advertised as mainly a microbrewery, but don’t worry under-21 foodies–the restaurant aspect to First Draft is open to you for brunch and dinner after 4 p.m. with an adult.  

After dining at First Draft, First Draft’s ambiance didn’t disappoint. Though, going on a warm night is highly recommended because of their patio-exclusive access due to Phase 4 Illinois COVID restrictions. Masks are required coming in and being seated, but can be taken off to eat. Despite their somewhat limited menu, there was a diverse selection of appetizers, burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. Their food selection could be described as upscale bar food, with delicious appetizers like pretzel bites and gourmet cheese curds. 

The lower patio is ample to effectively space people out from one another, with a nice view of downtown Grayslake. All of the servers were helpful, along with wearing masks. Because of the size of the restaurant, no one feels cramped or on top of one another. First Draft would be a great place to get dinner with your family or brunch with your friends.

According to Tom Bystol of First Draft, Grayslake Central students make up a great majority of the staff. Although this is a quite new restaurant, First Draft is giving back into the Grayslake community.

“We employ a lot of the students at both Central and North as far as our bussers and our hostesses. 95% of them are all students from the two high schools. [First Draft] is providing some jobs and giving them a look inside of the industry,” Bystol says. 

Although the restaurant has a different target audience from kids in high school, students and families are still welcomed into the atmosphere.

“We embrace and we love having families in here and kids in here, especially for brunches,” Bystol states. 

Although the colder weather is coming in, First Draft is a welcome addition to Grayslake and needs to stay up and running. That being said, make sure to support this local business, especially during these challenging times.