Tuesday, March 16, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: The Real Deal on The Shady Lady

Blue 13's Chris Curren will consult on The Shady Lady's menu. (Photo: Blue 13)

Here's a follow up to the story 312DD exclusively reported about the shuttering of River North Irish pub Garrett Ripley's.

Turns out the guys behind the popular spot are out and some legendary nightlife guys are in on what's soon to be known as The Shady Lady.

Veteran nightlife marketing guru Craig Hiljus is the owner, but Dion Antic (of now shuttered Iggy’s, Harry’s Velvet Room, Liquid Kitty) will be the visionary behind its concept, which is going to be transformed into one helluva rock lounge. He's designing the decor and consulting on the menu with Blue 13's executive chef/owner Chris Curren, who will put his own twist to signature items from Iggy's old menu.

Antic tells 312DD to look forward to standbys like Iggy's Wings, Lemon Bow-Tie Pasta, plus burgers, fish and chips and a new take on Pigs in a Blanket. Dessert choices include bourbon milkshakes paired with warm, gooey cookies and fresh beignets with coffee-infused vodka. All ingredients will be fresh, never frozen and as much as possible made from scratch.

Additionally, the menu will be offered until 2am during the week and 3am on Saturdays, making it a late-night destination for hungry nightowls. There will also be a daytime Biker Brunch followed by a Bartenders Brunch, which will cater to industry types and goes until 6pm. When it gets warm, look for sidewalk seating for about 20.

Nightlife vet Dion Antic is the visionary behind The Shady Lady. (Photo: Dion Antic)

As he's always done with his concepts, Antic's thinking "outside the box" with The Shady Lady. He's excited about a tiny corner stage at the back of the room, which will showcase "spontaneous performances" varying from jazz trumpeters to risque dancers to spoken-word artists. He says the performances will each be about 10 minutes long and could happen at 7pm or 1am.

Antic's also basing a new spirits program on the humidor concept. They're selling 42 private little boxes to spirits connoisseurs who want to take bottle service to the next level. In these boxes they'll be able to store super high-end whiskeys, small-batch gins, bourbons and other hard-to-find bottles of booze. Each box will be sold for an annual membership and will be under lock and key behind the bar.

And finally, they're working on a private lounge concept for the downstairs bar. It'll be membership only (the owners will give out free memberships at their discretion), and play host to a number of industry-only events.

The Shady Lady is set to open the first week of April.


Jeff said...

RE: Brad Bolt -- Did he go back to the Hour, or did you get it backwards? SSDD

312 Dining Diva said...

Thanks, Jeff. I fixed that!

Michael said...

Chicago needs Craig and Dion to get this shit straight! It's about time... thanks in advance guys! P.S. that step downstairs is our bitch