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If you’re in search of a low-key family inclusive munch location, a place to get drinks with friends for a quiet evening, or somewhere to have an authentic pint of Guinness paired with delicious velvet cake, look no further than Park Ridge’s Irish-owned Sweet & Tart restaurant.

Located at 112 South Prospect Avenue in the Uptown Business District, this women-owned establishment was built and is run by lifelong friends and local natives, Meghan O’Neill and Jaime Kendall.

“As all good stories start, I was drunk in Brooklyn,” laughs Meghan, as she recounts how this gorgeous idea began two years ago. “(I) went to a similar place called Butter & Scotch, and I was texting (Jaime) the whole time, in the middle of the night, showing her pictures of the menu. Then we just kind of went on a journey to modify it for Park Ridge, and made it our own.”

“I was getting my degree certification to go back into the classroom,” Jamie continues. “And I was actually about a month out from getting my certificate when Meghan reached out to me. We’ve been friends for 25 years, and she came back from this trip, and she said, ‘I know what we’re going to do together’.

“We talked for years about having a business together, we just didn’t know what kind… Meghan and I have always enjoyed hospitality. And we grew up here. We wanted a place that people could come and enjoy, and that was the impetus behind it.”

The restaurant, which specializes in small plates of savory food, desserts, and custom drinks, is set in a warm and welcoming location, designed by the ladies themselves, and boasting lovely details that include Chicago brickwork that was reclaimed from the 40s.

(l to r): Owners Jamie Kendall and Meghan O’Neill are ready to serve you!

Although the original intention wasn’t to be fully Irish, they do have 3 Irish cooks in the female-run kitchen, and serve a lot of Irish fare. They offer the proper 20oz pints of Guinness, and on weekends serve a full Irish breakfast with Winston sausages and Irish scones.
Much like a typical Irish pub, the goal for these owners was to have a mellow atmosphere, with comfort food as a mainstay.

“Our vibe is not ‘sitting around having shots all night’. We want to be more of a family inclusive place, but also where we can sit with our friends for drinks for a couple of hours and not feel like we have to do craziness with everyone around us,” Meghan explains.

“When we would go out with friends, we would always either do dessert and drinks, or two or three plates that we could share, and we felt like there should be a place like that locally, where you could go out and have a few bites, have some great drinks, and just have a nice night out without having to go downtown, or spend $300. We wanted something accessible and nearby,” Jamie adds.

As the pandemic hit in the spring, throwing a few wrenches into their opening plans, the ladies made the necessary adjustments to bring the place into proper COVID protocols, and Sweet & Tart was ready to open quietly over the Fourth of July weekend this year.

“We wanted everyone to get their feet under them, and make sure everyone knew what they were doing before it got too big,” says Meghan.
The restaurant is set up for social distancing, with tables spaced properly, a large outdoor tent with electric heaters, vent filters that are changed every couple of weeks, and staff that is trained to be hyper-vigilant with masking and sanitizing.

“We’ve been through a lot to get here, a lot of chaos, and we’ve had to roll with the punches.”

Whatever challenges or hurdles they’ve faced, this labor of love has been a great journey for these two entrepreneurs, one that has been entirely worth it so far.

“We love that word of mouth has been so positive,” says Jamie. “We love that people are coming back and bringing friends, bringing neighbors. People come up to us so many times and say, ‘My friend came (here), and she posted a picture of your cake on social media, and I had to come see it for myself.’”

They are a dessert place, but also offer other great food, and they have a terrific bar. Their savory menu includes dishes like warm pretzel dippers, a charcuterie and cheese plate, and an array of different paninis  and they also sell Irish import candy.

The crowning glory, however, is their desserts. They advertise incredibly scrumptious treats such as cookies, cakes, and brownies, or you can try their best selling key lime pie, which is available for purchase whole or by the slice. Cakesicles are very popular as well.

“We want people to understand that there’s a little something for everyone here, and we’re not just one thing. This is an inclusive place,” says Jamie.

Open Noon-10pm on weekdays, or starting at 8am on the weekends for their breakfast specialties, their food is also offered for pickup if you’d prefer to take your nibbles and treats to go.

You can find the Sweet & Tart website at Sweetandtartshoppe.com for a sample menu or more information call 847-518-5555 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are looking for something positive to brighten your day, go visit and see what can be done when you let nothing get in your way!

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