Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hub Punch knocks out the competition

HUB 51's potent Hub Punch is one of three winners for the annual "Cheers Ibiza Bartender Challenge." (Photo: HUB 51)

HUB 51's R.J. Melman, who owns the River North hot spot with his brother Jerrod, is currently chilling out in Ibiza, Spain right now.

Why?! The new restaurant's signature and very potent Hub Punch (made with Licor 43, citrus-flavored vodka, Reposado tequila, fresh-squeezed lemonade as well as pomegranate, orange and lime juices) won the annual Cheers Ibiza Bartender Challenge.

Sponsored by the Spanish-based Licor 43, the contest sets out to discover which bar/restaurant makes the most creative cocktail with the citrus and fruit-flavored liqueur. Melman jetted out to Ibiza this weekend for the awards ceremony and a series of parties.

The Hub Punch's pricey at $35 a pitcher, but I guess if you do it in lieu of a bottle of wine it's about the same.

A whole lotta ballin' going on . . .

R&B star Ashanti, in town for an exclusive private party, is one of many celebs hanging out in Chicago this week.

Be on the lookout for celebs galore running around town this week—beyond the usual professional athletes:


Candace Bushnell's in town promoting her latest chick-lit tome, "One Fifth Avenue," as well as the premiere of the second season for NBC's "Lipstick Jungle" during a private party at Manor.


R&B star Ashanti performs; celebrity-fave DJ Kiss spins at an undisclosed location for a private party for a high-end liquor company.

It'll be interesting to see how the parties at Le Passage and Underground play out. Janet Jackson, whose “Rock Witchu” Tour makes a stop at the Allstate Arena, is scheduled to host an after-party at Le Passage. LL Cool J is also supposed to make a cameo. And over at UG, it's all about mega-producer Jemaine Dupri—Janet's main squeeze—who's on tap to deejay during his birthday party.


Hip-hop star and local Chicago boy Common returns home to host a few fundraisers for his namesake charity, Common Ground Foundation. An afternoon VIP bowling event occurs at 10pin Bowling Lounge, with confirmed attendees The Roots, Pharrell, Will.i.Am, Talib Kweli and Bilal.

And at 7:30pm, Common's performing at the House of Blues, and with all these guys in town, get ready for many cameos onstage!