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Comings & Goings: EvenFlow Music and Spirits, Papa G’s

Owner Mike Knuth Auroropened EvenFlow Music Spirits 302 W. State St. Genevwith partner Nick Mercadante July.  |  Submitted

Owner Mike Knuth, of Aurora, opened EvenFlow Music and Spirits, 302 W. State St. in Geneva, with partner Nick Mercadante in July. | Submitted

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Updated: November 22, 2012 10:55PM

Experiencing the good vibes of live music is no longer simply an occasional treat in the Fox Valley. Local music venues are saturating the area with lots of opportunities for dancing and toe tapping.

Over the summer, EvenFlow Music and Spirits came on the scene at 302 W. State St. in Geneva’s downtown. The old bank building circa 1924 and former upscale restaurant is now hosting live music acts Wednesday through Saturday.

Owner Mike Knuth, of Aurora, opened the venue with partner Nick Mercadante in July and has been getting rave reviews for their food and music. The corner stage has hosted cover bands, guitar virtuosos and DJs.

“We have a wide range. It’s a complete mix,” Knuth said of the live acts that take the stage. As for Knuth, he and the venue’s décor are inspired by the greats of rock and roll, which he considers to be Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend, Paul McCartney and, of course, Pearl Jam — the band’s song Even Flow helped to inspire the name.

Knuth said he liked the name because at EvenFlow, the beer flows even and the people flow in. Aside from the tunes, EvenFlow offers a menu that Knuth describes as “modern American.” They are open for dinner Tuesday through Friday, and for lunch and dinner on the weekend. “We have fantastic food and hand-crafted beers,” he said.

Once inside, it’s easy to see that EvenFlow is no fly-by-night operation. Knuth said he worked on the venue concept for about five years after being laid off from a large home builder. He was heavily influenced by bars in Chicago and other large cities. He and Mercadante looked at locations all over the Fox Valley before finding the prime corner spot in Geneva.

Knuth, 34, graduated from Oswego High School and studied small business in college. He’s now happy to work with other small businesses such as local brewers Two Brothers and Solemn Oath, which he carries on tap.

EvenFlow opens at 4:30 p.m. during the week and 11 a.m. on the weekend. They are closed on Mondays. Find EvenFlow on Facebook or visit

Next week in Comings and Goings, live music in Batavia showcases local talent.


If you ask George Galanis, Papa G’s owes its 20 years to the Bears. No wait. He owes them to his fans or loyal customers. Galanis is a huge Bears fan, though, so he’s sure they play a part in it somehow. After all, he thinks that their 20-point win last Sunday was in homage to his 20 years at 939 S. Lake St. in Aurora.

So, if you drive by the local home of Cheesy Beefs and Big Italian Beefs and see an 8-foot Chicago Bears balloon on the roof, you might consider giving a honk for the team and for Galanis.

Galanis truly credits his loyal customers for keeping food on his table and the doors open at Papa G’s. He survived the flood of ’96 and the recent economic woes, and he is thankful.

“We’ve made a lot of friends in the area,” said Galanis, of Montgomery. He emigrated from Greece in 1973 and is now a U.S. citizen. He grew up in the restaurant business and trained in his uncle’s restaurant in Des Plaines.

Papa G’s brought cheesy beef to the area in the early ’90s, Galanis said. They are still introducing new things to their customers, like the Italian beef Panini and Da Bears burger.

This month, Papa G’s is celebrating the milestone with various specials that are announced only via their Facebook page. The big anniversary celebration will be the week of Sept. 24 — proclaimed by Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner to be Papa G’s 20th Anniversary Week. Visit for full details.

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