Monday, January 25, 2010

The Exchange Gets An Opening Date

Master mixologist Peter Vestinos hooking up cocktails at a sneak-preview party at The Exchange, set to open Feb. 11. (Photo: Phil McFarland)

The Exchange, an updated cocktail lounge in the former Lava Lounge space on Milwaukee Avenue, finally has an opening date.

Look for it to debut officially Feb. 11, but there's a "friends and family" night Saturday, and next week they expect to quietly open.

Say goodbye to the hip-hop and dub nights, and hello to a bar taking its mixology program serious.

A few of master mixologist Peter Vestinos' drinks certain to make your mouth water:

The 75, made with Right gin, fresh lemon sour, orange bitters and Flemish sour ale.

Smoke + Mirrors, with smoky Lapsong tea-infused tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime, egg and triple pepper bitters.

And The FireFly, featuring New Holland Knickerbocker gin, Alpine liqueur, chartreuse, bitters and rosemary garnish.

We've got even more news from the owners of The Exchange, who are also behind the SmallBar gastropub concept in Wicker Park and Logan Square.

Owner Phil McFarland tells 312DD that the third location is totally ready to open in Lincoln Park, but they're having licensing issues with City Hall. Sheesh.

Old-schoolers will remember this venue as one of the pool halls where famed director Martin Scorsese filmed The Color of Money starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise.

St Paul’s Billiards was a gritty piece of work, so it'll be interesting to see just how much it's changed since the SmallBar guys took over.

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