Nine Questions for the New Chaser

Nightlifers, meet Amalie Drury (less like “ah-ma-LEE,” the fictional Frenchie; more like “Emily,” with a Kentucky accent). Once you’ve mastered the Southernese, say hello if you see our new girl-about-town—a Louisville native and longtime CS vet—on the scene. She’ll be scouting the city’s best spots to drink and people watch, not necessarily in that order, then reporting on it Thursdays here in The Chaser. We asked Amalie a few questions to break the ice…

Nightlifers, meet Amalie Drury (less like “ah-ma-LEE,” the fictional Frenchie; more like “Emily,” with a Kentucky accent). Once you’ve mastered the Southernese, say hello if you see our new girl-about-town—a Louisville native and longtime CS vet—on the scene. She’ll be scouting the city’s best spots to drink and people watch, not necessarily in that order, then reporting on it Thursdays here in The Chaser. We asked Amalie a few questions to break the ice. 

What’s the best new nightlife trend?
There are only a few weeks left to enjoy them this year, but I’m a big fan of all the new rooftop bars. When I was a kid, my teachers used to complain about my constant staring out the window; I still love nothing more than a good view. Take me to a table at the new Terrace at Trump or Roof at The Wit, and you won’t have to bother with sparkling conversation. I’ll be too entranced by the skyline.  

And the worst?
Is it really necessary to have 400 TVs in every bar? I spend enough time glued to screens when I’m working (and watching episodes of Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami on DVR). Nothing kills a mood faster than when the person you’re talking to has his or her eyes plastered to the plasma over your shoulder.

Are you more of a see-and-be-scenester or a neighborhood barfly?
I can go both ways. I’m not one to make kissy faces at photographers, but I do like to be among the first onsite when a new bar opens—and I’m a sucker for a good celebrity appearance. Still, I end a lot of nights at my neighborhood bar, the River Shannon—perfect for drunken human-sized Jenga; plus, it’s a quick, well-lit walk home.  

Favorite newish bar?
I love Wang’s in Boystown, a tiny bar connected to the sushi restaurant Wakamono. Owner Henry Chang’s style, cheap and chic, is spot-on. The red lighting at Wang’s makes everyone look good, and your martini comes topped with a gorgeous orchid. Too pretty to resist!

Any secrets for getting past the velvet rope?
I’d like to say that being nice works best—and sometimes that’s true. But occasionally you also have to do a little name-dropping. For the purposes of full disclosure, I’ve been known to walk straight to the front of the line and confidently pronounce myself a BFF of the owner (even if that’s not 100-percent accurate). If my name isn’t on the list, I’ll give a friendly but exasperated “your loss, not mine” shrug and start walking away. They usually get nervous and call you back.

Who’s your go-to drinking companion?
My little sister Liv is a happy drinker who meshes well. Other friends are great to start the night with, but I usually lose them to particular habits: early disappearances, unofficial narcolepsy, and, in defiance of my number-one “keep-it-together” rule, insistence on shots. But I’m a known end-of-night crier, so I can’t be too picky.

What about your go-to drink?
Easy: Maker’s and Diet. I’m from Kentucky, and I’ve had a taste for bourbon since I was, well, a toddler. 

Best bar for a first date?
A quiet, romantic hotel bar, like the wood-paneled Bar at The Peninsula. You can hear each other speak; the business travelers at the next table couldn’t care less who you are; the chairs are cozy; and the lighting is dim.

Does this mean you’ll be sharing juicy dating tidbits?
I’m not one to let good material go to waste, so beware, single men/match.com users: Meet me for a date at a bar, and the recap is likely to end up here. Names will be changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

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comments
5 years ago
Posted by D. Graham Kostic

they definitely got the best person for the job on this beat. amalie is a nightlife pro. and she manages to maintain stunning text message/email response time at 8AM after a night out. i'm constantly impressed.

[liv is your Go-To Drinking Companion? I hope i'm next in line.]

5 years ago
Posted by rcompo2009

I KNOW this girl knows how to drink and live it up, so I'll be looking forward to your updaes! woohoo!!

5 years ago
Posted by tucker123

I am so looking forward to the weekly updates on the new hot spots! I've heard it before, and this would be a good time for me to pass it on... Emma Knows. Readers will not be disappointed!

5 years ago
Posted by beth

Congrats on the new gig, Amalie! Best line I've read all the week: "I'm not one to make kissy faces at photographers..."

5 years ago
Posted by acerjack

Dear Chaser,

What is your favorite first date bar/club or other destination in downtown Chi-town? I'm looking for a cool spot where conversation is possible, unpretentious...yet not a dive, with favorable lighting! Thanks in advance, Jackson

5 years ago
Posted by Kate Brennan

Congrats Amalie! If only for one night, I'm counting on you to be my #1 on Monday. Red wine; no shots!

5 years ago
Posted by Lisa Shames

Oh, this is going to be fun! Amalie definitely has her finger on the pulse of Chicago, plus her witty writing style is an added bonus.

5 years ago
Posted by Amalie

Thanks, everyone! Glad to see I have so many built-in readers. ;) SO, Jackson, I think you could consider taking your first date to the Violet Hour in Bucktown--they only let in the amount of people who can fill up the available chairs, so there's no huge crowd standing around and shouting to be heard. Or, there's some very flattering amber lighting going on at State & Lake at the new Wit Hotel...instead of the more formal route with a real table and a waiter, sit at the bar and order beers and fries.

5 years ago
Posted by Bree Williams

Welcome to Chicago magazine, Amalie! Congrats!

5 years ago
Posted by Leah E

Amalie is a nightlife rockstar! Can't wait for all her fabulous coverage and witty commentary.

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