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The Chaser

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…

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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…

4 years
ago

Five Things to Know About Smith, the New Wine Bar Coming Soon to Logan Square

On the heels of the hotelier Ian Schrager’s announcement this week that the Ambassador East Hotel, once a celebrity playground, now will be called Public, we learned that the owners of Webster’s Wine Bar and The Bluebird have chosen a name for their soon-to-open Logan Square spot, further feeding this postrecession Everyman trend: Smith…

4 years
ago

’Stock Increase: Humboldt Park’s Rootstock Prepares to Expand

Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, the cozy Humboldt Park spot owned by three former Webster’s Wine Bar vets and our 2010 pick for best wine bar, has gotten so popular that I now consider it a major win if I snag a stool there on a weekend—or actually any—night…

4 years
ago

Reality Revamp: The Abbey Pub on Spike TV’s ‘Bar Rescue’

The Abbey Pub’s office manager, Leslie Galambos, spotted the casting call on Craigslist and thought, Why not? The next thing she knew, film crews and producers from the new Spike TV show Bar Rescue (brought to you by the makers of The Biggest Loser and hosted by the bar and restaurant consultant Jon Taffer) had descended on the ripe-for-revamping pub and live-music venue in Old Irving Park…

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4 years
ago

Polynesian Party! The Terrace at Trump Opens for the Season Tonight

What would I do right now if I worked downtown? I’d knock off a little early and head over to The Terrace at Trump, where I’d be among the first drinkers of the year—on an almost-gorgeous afternoon, no less—to take in the best views in the city. Today is the Terrace’s soft opening for the spring and summer season, and in a phone call this morning to the bar’s manager, Kamilah Mahon, I got the scoop on its new Polynesian-chic theme…

4 years
ago

Standard Bar/Grill Takes Another Stab at Pleasing the Wicker Park Masses

“What’s with the sign? Looks like Barnum & Bailey presents a bar,” huffed The Creative Director as we pulled up beneath the many-bulbed marquee announcing Standard Bar/Grill the latest incarnation of the Wicker Park watering hold most recently occupied by Loft Six Ten…

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