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Metromixology

What is it with Wicker Park and tapas lounges? Could
it be the 32 flat-screen TVs? We're struggling to see
the difference between this and the two existing
locations. Listen up, Chicago, 'cause this can get
confusing.

Dark yet inviting design accents and plasma screens
with video art set the scene. But don't expect punk
attitude here. Think sad, sick bulldogs;
glass-clinking hipsters. What was once an
empty-feeling dive now features a redwood and mahogany
bar lit by panels of amber light. There's also lounge
seating along the perimeter, which means the martini
sipping crowd's more stylish than the previous daytime
regulars.

Wine and spirits only; leave the brew at home. But
life--and eating--goes on for the increasingly
residential 'hood of River North. The catch: A jazzy
vibe dominates. Wondering where the name comes from?
Sip your drink around the 64-foot island bar and fix
your eyes on the dozens of plasmas dotting the
surroundings. Want to know more about the name?

The corner tavern is being gutted and transformed into
a destination. New owners are really sprucing up the
place with a Vermont ski chalet style that includes a
35-foot copper-top bar with giant chandelier overhead,
fireplaces in one seating area and woodwork galore.
Now Chicago can see what all the fuss is about.

And the music? Rough, yet polished. Has the latest
crop of American Idol contestants inspired you? We
spied twenty- and thirtysomething, urban professionals
sipping cocktails and noshing on Italian-inflected
small plates. That's just the way we like our rock
stars! Phone ahead, place your order, then use your
cell to let them know you're waiting outside.

In other words, that glowing, kaleidoscopic bar is
history. But look for an added flavor element--they're
installing a salt cave for aging. We're totally ready
for a new local lounge with a way-cool vibe. In the
meantime, kick back with a signature martini and soak
in the traditional, modern and jazz-fusion sounds
pumped through speakers. The spacious lobby's a bit
difficult to navigate, so just point yourself east
towards the lake and keep walking.

[composed entirely from Metromix bar and restaurant reviews]



Permalink

Posted on April 12, 2006


MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - Climate Deniers' 4 Top Scare Tactics.
SPORTS - The McEnroes In Antarctica.

BOOKS - Foxconned.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Don't Let Your Pet OD.


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