Just because I’ll be stuck on the couch nursing an injured knee instead of a cocktail tomorrow on my birthday doesn’t mean you can’t raise a toast on April 15th. Yes, the Tax Man taketh away, but you can drinketh whatever’s left. Read about new bar openings and tax day specials below; then, if you make it out to these or other spots, come back and post comments so that others (ahem, me) can benefit vicariously from your bar hopping.
New Bar Alerts:
• If it wasn’t for the live three-foot eel confined to a 75-gallon saltwater tank, The Spread, which opened in the old Bordo’s space last Friday, could be just about any run-of-the-mill sports bar. Owners say the critter is just for looks, but if it gets you salivating, there’s an ambitious bar-food menu—crab cake po’boys, fusili mac and cheese—from a couple of W Hotel vets. Other amenities include 20-plus plasma TVs, monthly drink specials, and, come summer, outdoor seating for 40.
• And in other bar-oddity news: What do Oscar Wilde and trendy, pint-sized dogs have in common? Absolutely nothing, as far as we can tell, other than the fact that both pop up in the name of a coming-soon Uptown tavern at 4808 N. Broadway, The Wilde Pug, from the same folks who brought us Crew Bar + Grill a couple of doors down. (According to the owners, the name is both a play on the word “pub” and a reference to the fact that English pubs often include animals in their monikers. If they say so.) Perhaps due to the bizarre-o world name, the owners also say there’s been a lot of neighborhood interest in the space. So, while they wait on their liquor license and cross their fingers for a June opening, they’re hosting a walk-through “construction party” this Wednesday, April 16th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sign up to attend and to receive bar updates.
• Rebar, the mezzanine-level bar in the new Trump International Hotel and Tower, opens to the public this Friday, April 18th. If its sister restaurant, Sixteen, is any indication, this should be a hotel bar worth planning your night around—if for nothing other than the spectacular views of the river and the Michigan Avenue bridge. Read my recent interview with food and beverage director Philipp Posch to find out what it was like working with Ivanka.
Tax Day Deals:
• Unwind at Pops for Champagne’s annual 1040 Tax Relief Celebration on Tuesday the 15th, when $10.40 gets you three premium sparkling wines (think Rosell Boher Brut Rosé, from Mendoza, Argentina—a North American exclusive at Pops). New exec chef Andrew Bossu, formerly of Alinea, sweetens the deal with three bar plates for another $10.40 (think frites with garlic aioli and celery salt); or head downstairs to the jazz club, where $10.40 covers admission for two to the Chris Sargent Trio. Stick around until 10:40 p.m. and you’ll receive a gift certificate to Pops for—you guessed it—$10.40.
• Martini Park cashes in with its own tax bash on Wednesday, April 16th. Money-themed karaoke (“The Taxman,” “Take the Money and Run”) backed by the Karaoke Dokies starts at 8 p.m. The night’s winner gets $500—because those tax returns haven’t come in yet.