Gnarly Knots Pretzel Co. opening this weekend in Lombard
A local favorite is returning this weekend.
The Gnarly Knots Pretzel Co., which attracted a loyal following in Winfield until it closed in the spring, is reopening Saturday with a bigger footprint in downtown Lombard.
Located at 100 W. St. Charles Road, the new location provides co-owners Funi McLoughlin and Matt Finn, who live in Lombard, with much more room to fulfill the vision they've had since first opening the stuffed pretzel restaurant in 2013.
Unlike the crowded 100-year-old house they occupied in Winfield, the Lombard spot provides a large seating area, a custom-built kitchen capable of producing several times the number of pretzels. There even is a public bathroom that was lacking in Winfield.
While it's been a long seven months getting to this point, the new Gnarly Knots is quickly turning into a dream come true for Finn and McLoughlin.
"We couldn't be more excited," McLoughlin said. "This is going to be amazing. I don't think I'd change a thing about the remodel. It's exactly our vision."
Perhaps the biggest change for Gnarly Knots regulars will be the expanded menu. The small Winfield kitchen limited McLoughlin and Finn to just one special a day they'd rotate through the week.
In Lombard, however, every day they'll offer all seven of their stuffed pretzel specials -- Triple Cheese, Pretzel Dog, Italian Beef, Pepperoni Pizza, BBQ Beef Brisket, Monte Cristo and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough -- in addition to their all-day pretzels with various toppings.
They're keeping much of the equipment from The Corner House that used to occupy the building, allowing them to offer coffee, espresso, tea and hot chocolate to complement the breakfast specials. There will be 10 kinds of dipping sauces, homemade soups, croutons and more.
Gnarly Knots, which became nationally known through appearances on the Travel Channel and Food Network, will be open seven days a week. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
"We're exhausted and exhilarated at the same time," McLoughlin said. "All we've ever wanted is to just open the doors and have a place for people to sit and enjoy the whole dining experience."