For anyone who’s ever daydreamed of attending a cocktail party in Frank Lloyd Wright’s living room, your invitation has arrived. Prairie School, a new bar from the minds behind such aesthetically appealing spots as Pub Royale and Estereo, has taken the tenets of the architectural movement Wright helped define and applied them to its corner of the building that houses Google’s offices. Step beyond the lead glass foyer, and you’ll find tatami-inspired carpets, buttery brown leather furnishings, a honey-colored live-edge bar, and a rock-covered back bar displaying an arty version of a mug club: hand-thrown ceramic tumblers.
For mixologist and Oak Park native Jim Meehan, who used to pass Wright’s home and studio on the way to school, the guiding principle of Prairie-style architecture—connecting design to its environs—pertains to the drinks, too. “I want to look at what’s here and celebrate it,” he says. So there are locally distilled spirits, plus an upscale take on the traditional brandy old-fashioned of Wisconsin (Wright designed many structures in that state) and an homage to the lemon ice at Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park (one of Meehan’s childhood haunts). You may never sip drinks in Wright’s parlor, but a round at Prairie School gets you pretty close.
326 N. Morgan St.