1. Bye-bye, Kevin; hello, Theory. An upscale sports bar from Joel Sorinsky, a former manager at Joe’s, and Brian Merel, a partner/exec chef of Stefani Restaurants, has opened in the old Kevin space. Highlights include oversized booths and more than 20 plasmas, some of which you—the barflies—will control. We smell the sports-bar competition getting fierce in River North.
2. Meanwhile, Bull & Bear (431 N. Wells St.), from the Stone Lotus team, is aiming for a public opening after Christmas—maybe even in time for New Year’s Eve. Tableside beer taps at B&B vs. tableside plasmas at Theory: Which new River North sports bar are you more excited about? Post your comments below.
3. ’Tis the season to be Jewish: The Society of Young Jewish Professionals’ 22nd annual Matzo Ball takes place at Crobar this year. If you’re single, don’t miss it. SYJP claims to have paved the way for more than 1,000 marriages via their bashes, which take place simultaneously in 25 cities nationwide. The party runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. this Wednesday, December 24th. Cover is $30, and advance tickets are available at matzoball.org.
4. Don’t want to spend Christmas Eve at Crobar? (We don’t blame you.) Find out where else my fellow Jews will be hanging out.
5. Every bar and its brother is hosting a NYE bash, but we’ve weeded through the invites and found one spot that actually deserves our hard-earned Hanukkah gelt: Lumen, featuring DJ White Shadow. Cover has been reduced to $85 until Monday the 29th and includes a premium open bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Belvedere and Red Bull, people!), a Champagne toast at midnight, passed apps, and party favors. Discounted tickets are only available here.
6. Speaking of Red Bull . . .
7. Be one of the first to see Lucky Lady, the new souped-up neighborhood bar from Michaels Bisbee and Kaulentis in the former Gentry space (440 N. State St.), on NYE. This lodge-like watering hole has everything—including, yes, antler chandeliers and a pool table. Bonus: Looks like they’ve transported those leggy waitresses from Manor.
8. And one last bash, done three ways: The local Angels & Kings will ring in the new year every hour on the hour between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. in honor of its three locations (Chicago, New York City, and Barcelona). E!’s Kat Sadler hosts the local bash, and in place of a boring old Champagne toast, revelers will get a Kiss Me on the Cheeky (bubbly doctored up with peach liqueur) at midnight. Tickets are $95.
9. I was off last week, moving 11 year’s worth of stuff from Old Town to the West Loop, and look what I missed. Just in time for my new digs.
10. If you like The Hills, you’ll love The City, premiering on MTV next Monday, December 29th. A Hollywood insider tells me the Pussycat Dolls are in the studio recording the theme song, and the escapades of Whitney Port and her Manhattan socialite friends are supposed to be even more addictive than those of Lauren Conrad and Co. Hey, we’re excited.
Nightspotting 2.0 will be hibernating next week. Check back Monday, January 5th for seen-on-the-scene photos.