The Chaser

June 2011

3 years
ago

Kegged Cocktails? Don’t Knock ’Em Until You’ve Sipped ’Em, Says Tavernita’s Drink Guy

The sprawling restaurant Tavernita, set to open in the old Martini Park space (151 W. Erie St.) in September with three separate bars inside, has been raising eyebrows for weeks. First came the news that the chef Ryan Poli would be leaving Perennial to head up this Latin concept from the group behind the nearby New York import Mercadito and its basement cocktail lounge, Double A…

3 years
ago

Four New Patios for When the Sun Shines Again (Plus, a Trend: Outdoor Plumbing)

Thunder rumbled last night as I waited to feed a parking box on Taylor Street, where I’d gone in search of what the proprietors of Three Aces are calling the “largest patio in Little Italy.” The storm was still a few miles off, so my pal Jenny and I waltzed up to the festive-looking expanse of picnic tables newly installed outside the eight-month-old gastropub and took our seats among a group of friends…

3 years
ago

Olivia Castellini Is One of the 20 Gorgeous Singles You Can Meet This Friday at Summer Lovin’

It’s a rite of summer—the night Chicago’s singles come out to play at the MCA—and it’s happening this Friday: Summer Lovin’ (details below) is your chance to mingle with the city’s 20 most eligible men and women over drinks and bites from local restaurants (M Burger, The Purple Pig) while supporting stroke therapy and research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital…

3 years
ago

Smith No More: Logan Square’s Soon-to-open Wine Bar Must Pick a New Name

Smith may be the most common surname in America, but a certain bar in New York is determined to keep it the least common bar name.
Shortly after my post went up about plans for a new Logan Square wine bar and restaurant brought to us by the owners of The Bluebird and Webster’s Wine Bar, that team was contacted by another team—of lawyers…

3 years
ago

Shiver Me Timbers: The Chaser Climbs Aboard the Red Witch’s New Cocktail Cruise

You’ve seen the Windy. It’s that many-masted vessel docked at Navy Pier that looks like a playground for fanny-pack wearing families from Iowa hoping to live out their Pirates of the Caribbean fantasies.
Or at least that’s what I was thinking yesterday as my sister Liv and I prepared to venture aboard a skyline cocktail cruise on the Red Witch, a smaller boat operated by the same company…

3 years
ago

Board Room: The Meeting Starts Late at River North’s Newest Nightclub

Last night my glancing interest in all things Paris Hilton (I know, so 2003) landed me at the new River North nightclub Board Room, located in the old RiNo space. Paris was in no way expected, but two costars from her show The World According to Paris on Oxygen—“L.A.’s hottest party girl” Allison Melnick and July 1999 Playmate of the Month Jennifer Rovero—were listed as hosts for the Svedka vodka–sponsored party…

3 years
ago

The Chaser’s First Impressions of Tzar Ultra Lounge

My guard was up last night from the moment I drove onto a particular block of River North, where the nightclubs Crescendo, Y, Sound-Bar, and now Tzar Ultra Lounge are all clustered. Parking my car around the corner on Franklin Street, I spotted a trio of teetering, sequined young women who had just alighted from an early model Rav4 bearing a suburban dealership logo and who nervously clutched pink Victoria’s Secret shopping bags as they read the instructions on the meter box…

3 years
ago

BYOB While You Can: The Red Lion Lincoln Square

The Red Lion, an English pub that poured pints in Lincoln Park for 27 years, has been open in its new Lincoln Square location since January, but due to a paperwork snafu, owners Joe and Susan Heinen have been waiting on their liquor license for what feels like a bloody long time…