Nighthawks: The Rising Mogul
“I’m striving for mogul status, but I’ve got a long way to go,” says Chris Dexter, the 28-year-old force behind the hot boite of the moment, Stone Lotus. With four places already up and two more on the way, he is closer than he lets on. A Harvard grad, Dexter learned the ropes of the nightclub business as general manager of the W Hotel bars in Chicago, then ventured out on his own in 2002 to help develop Spoon, Elm Street Liquors, and del Toro. He takes a stake in all his places but also brings in investors. Up next for him: Empire Liquors, an edgier, more rock-’n’-roll version of the Gold Coast’s Elm Street Liquors, is set to open in September on Milwaukee Avenue; and an upscale sports bar in River North, with high-profile partners like Ozzie Guillen and Jerry Azumah, is slated for an early 2007 kickoff.