Neil Byers, owner of Beverly brewpub Horse Thief Hollow, won the Chicagoland Chamber 2015 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in June. Five months later, he is hosting an event at his South Side restaurant with Michelin-rated chef Graham Elliot.

DNA Info Chicago published a feature story on Byers’ relationship with Elliot and Horse Thief Hollow’s evolution over the past several years from a simple South Carolina style barbecue joint to one of Chicago’s most underrated restaurants.

From the DNA Info Chicago story:

Byers’ friendship with Elliot continues to inspire him to add fancier items to the menu, including a mushroom risotto with beef cheeks that explodes with flavor in a way southwest-style egg rolls, a current crowd pleaser, never could.

“To be endorsed by a peer who is at such a high level is amazing,” Byers said.

Frankly, it’s taken nearly four years for Byers to feel comfortable challenging notoriously stubborn South Side dining sensibilities with his South Carolina-influenced foodie fare.

After all, some Beverly drinkers were shocked, if not appalled, when Horse Thief Hollow stopped serving Miller Lite and Budweiser.

But bit by bit — well, bite by bite might be closer to the truth — Horse Thief Hollow edges closer to the joint Byers always hoped it would be, a place you go for good beer, fantastic casual food with a gourmet touch that has a strong connection to the community where he was raised.

By the way, Byers has already put the prize money from the James Tyree Award to good use: building a beautiful new website.

Click here to read the full DNA Info Chicago story.