The rooftop patio at The Fountainhead opens March 16, weather permitting. (Lenny Gilmore/RedEye )
If this weekend's warm weather didn't have you anticipating spring, this news will: Fountainhead, a Ravenswood bar that craft beer fans count among the city's best, plans to open its popular rooftop patio March 16.
Management is quick to say that the date is "weather-dependent," though because the patio is partially enclosed and heated, the opening should have a green light barring bitterly cold temperatures.
The Fountainhead also welcomes a new beer director this spring following the departure of previous director Phil Kuhl, who now oversees craft beers for distributor Wirtz Beverage Group.
Mike Maloney steps into the role after an 8-year stretch at The Grafton and some time at Clark Street Ale House.
While he doesn't plan to make any drastic changes at Fountainhead, he does admit to a preference for European and classic styles of beer.
"I do also like American craft beers and I think a balance between the two is important," Maloney said. "As a beer bar, you’re trying to be all things at all times, and that requires a lot of forward-thinking and anticipating what your customers are going to want."
In addition to shaping the beer menu at Fountainhead, Maloney also will be responsible for the beer list at Buena Park's Bar on Buena, which is under the same ownership.
Maloney said he appreciates Bar on Buena's strong list of German beers in addition to domestic craft options, and recognizes that Fountainhead and Bar on Buena should offer different selections based on customers' preferences.
Those curious to see what Maloney has in store at Fountainhead can cross their fingers for a patio kick-off March 16 and 17, with special beers, whiskeys and food specials such as fish 'n' chips and Irish stew to mark St. Patrick's Day.