Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oops! Shuttered Red Lion Pub makes Esquire's Top Bar List


Here's the problem with these annual lists big-time magazines do every year.

They cannot possibly hit every bar they cover, like what just happened in Esquire's Best Bars in America list.

For Chicago, they included A-List spots like The Violet Hour, the cocktail-crazed lounge in Wicker Park, and The Matchbox, but also included the very closed Red Lion Pub. The number listed on their website was disconnected, and sources tell 312DD that the venue's been closed "for renovation" since summer 2008.

Did Esquire lay off the factcheckers?! Sheesh.

UPDATE: Apparently the Red Lion Pub inclusion was corrected in the print version, but not online.

Dirty Bird Bubble Bath boozier than ever

Rodney Alex of Juicy Wine Co. (Photo: Juicy Wine Co.)

We love Juicy Wine Co. for its stinky cheese and quirky events, like the weekly Sunday soul brunch, Dirty Bird Bubble Bath.

It's been going down for about a year at the River West wine bar, but now owner Rodney Alex's stepping it up by introducing his latest creation, Allagash White Ale Waffles.

That's right, there's beer in these here waffles that he promises will "lighten up" the texture and pair perfectly with crunchy Harold's Fried Chicken. Also, don't forget the bubbly, which is half off all day. And because you cannot have a soul brunch without the beats, DJ Puff-E spins classic funk and R&B. Brunch happens 11am-4pm.

Here's even more events popping off this weekend:


In line with American Craft Beer Week, Bistro 110 hosts a Two Brothers tasting, pairing more than four beers with heavy appetizers. The Warrenville, Ill.-based brewery's owners Jason and Jim Able will lead the tasting of Domaine Dupage, Dog Days Dortmunder Lager, Ebel's Weiss and Cane & Ebel. 6-8:30pm. $25.

A number of fashion-focused events happen today, including Walk the West Loop for 20 percent off on 11 boutiques offering cocktail parties until 9pm; SUB 51's first-ever fashion show with School of the Art Institute students showing off their creations at 9pm; edgy Wicker Park boutique Bonnie & Clyde showcases its stylish lines at Manor at 9pm; and Maven's Diva Series returns to Crimson Lounge with a trunk show featuring Julia Failey Jewelry and Fashion Heist (6-9pm).

Party like an animal—and with your animal—as pet accessories boutique Tails in the City (1 E. Delaware Pl., 312-649-0347) marks five years with a benefit at Level. The $40 ticket includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, activities for pets and goodie bags. All proceeds go to The Anti-Cruelty Society. 6-9pm.


You just might be able to score a ticket to the baddest bash of the week: A Late Night Celebration of the Modern Wing. The party is hosted by the likes of some of Chicago's top young influencers, including bar owners Claudia Gassel (Debonair Social Club) and Arturo Gomez (Rockit, Sunda, Underground), so you know the room will be full of heavy hitters. Benefit includes food, open bar, live entertainment and more. Try your luck at getting in here. 10pm-2am. $75.

Between exec chef Radhika Desi is moving to NYC! (Photo: Between Boutique Café and Lounge)

The dana hotel's ajasteak just introduced a budget-friendly bar menu that's also available on the patio. We love the idea of Kobe fat fries in chile vinegar, the market-fresh salad that comes in a Mason jar, Wok-steamed mussels, and an open-face fried green tomato and crab sandwich.

The Rockhouse debuts this weekend in Lincoln Park, with surprise bands coming in to perform. The late-night spot throws a nod to L.A.'s Sunset Strip rock bars like Viper Room. Free all weekend, with $4 Crystal Head vodka cocktails and $3 Bud bottles. 10pm-4am Friday; 10pm-5am Saturday.

As exclusively reported here, Top Chef Season 5 contestant Radhika Desai is moving to the Big Apple. Her farewell fete happens tonight at the restaurant with complimentary appetizers (prepared by new chef Noah Sandoval) and cocktails. 8pm-midnight. No cover.

O-K. Outfit Events throws its first-ever F*ckin' Catalina Wine Mixer at Lumen for its third-year anniversary. What the f*ck is that, you ask?! They're requesting guests to wear f*ckin' "country club" attire to complement the f*ckin' cheap wine and cheese reception from 9-10:30pm. Oh, and f*ckin' DJ Spider from L.A. is the celebrity spin star. Fun! 9pm-2am. RSVP to for free admission before 11pm.


Lottie’s Pub in Bucktown celebrates its 75th anniversary under a tent with daylong events, including a flippy cup tournament, drink specials and a few surprises. Would be interesting to see how many old-timers come out to support.

It's Beer & Chocolate Night at Drinks Over Dearborn with craft beer paired with locally based Vosges Haut Chocolat treats. 6:30-8:30pm. $30 in advance; $40 at door.


It's gonna be a beautiful day, so why not take a stroll during the Second Annual Andersonville Wine Walk. Co-sponsored by In Fine Spirits and Andersonville Development Corp., the fest includes wine tastings at 22 area retail stores. You'll certainly be wobbling by the end of the day! Call 773-728-7552 for tickets. 2-5pm. $25 in advance; $30 day of event.

Sunday-night supper will be served up at MADO, which is doing a special family-style feast featuring produce, grains and meat from the Stewards of the Land farms. Bring your appetite. 6pm. $65


And get a sneak preview of the massive new Whole Foods Market at 1550 N. Kingsbury St. You'll get to sample produce, check out the new restaurants and indulge in various goodies certain to be set before you as you stroll around the enormous venue. 6:30-8:30pm. Get the $25 tickets here.

Get your Brass Monkey on Monday

Bristol exec chef Chris Pandel serves up Brass Monkey cocktails at Pops for Champagne Monday. (Photo: Chris Pandel)

Monday is the hottest night in the city.

Just ask the industry types who head over to Pops for Champagne for Shift Drink Mondays, where Chicago's top chefs and mixologists go behind the bar and shake up their favorite cocktails.

This past Monday's event was the most successful (since the series started last year) when the L20 kitchen staff's bartending stint brought out more than 300 people.

Expect about that many in attendance Monday when The Bristol's popular executive chef Chris Pandel guest bartends. He's pouring Ransom Gin Fizzes, Brass Monkeys and a Yampagne (made with yam and ginger preserve and Champagne).

Now that we think of it, this'll likely be the best one to date, seeing how National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show attendees are in town.

Event happens 8pm-2am May 18. No cover.