The Chicago Spirit is alive on Diversey Avenue

Mon. January 17, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

The Unusual Suspects: A Pop-up Cocktail Experience is truly unique and shouldn't be missed for fans of the roarin' '20s! This time period is celebrated Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays by Fat Food Productions featuring liquid ingredients from The Chicago Spirit collective. 

A secret password is required for guests entering the hidden 2957 W. Diversey Avenue establishment. People will immediately be immersed in a dark, swanky jazz club and speakeasy. Antiques are everywhere, including a large brass cash register, and displays of what the evening will bring with items along the counter in front of an open kitchen. 

The Friar's Inn is the front room portion of the night where diners are treated to a French-inspired menu paired with amazing cocktails. The Praire Antipasto is a large appetizer with generous portions of boloney and pepper stick sausage plus olives, marinated vegetables and large crackers. There are vegetarian and mocktail options if that is a preference for customers. 

If alcohol is more your bag then you have certainly come to the right place. Powerful concoctions such as the whiskey drink called Mr. Night will satisfy with port wine, amaro soaked cherries and Spanish vermouth. Several cocktails contain gin and are expertly assembled thanks to skilled mixologists. 

The next room called The Friar's Inn will have visitors solving a mystery assisted by clues over four courses. The servers not only explain the tasting menu offered, but can also help those partaking in solving the historic crime described in the menu.

The Bloody Maxwell kicks things off in a martini made with vodka and gin that is paired with a profiterole. The second course lights up with 10-E Electra full of raspberry gin and a smoked salmon mousse. The Crescent City Kingpin is topped with a blowtorch and served with a beignet that has a mushroom and potato base. The fourth course arrives with a beet macaron and washes it down with bathtub gin! 

The menu is well thought out and crafted by the entire team from the top to the bottom. This impressive endeavor from Abe Conlon and Adrienne Lo makes for a truly unique experience whether on a date or out with friends. It is obviously a labor of love from some of the best and brightest in the Chicago hospitality world. This project is full of mystery and charm that will hopefully continue for a long time to come. 

Looking for a reason to dress up these days? Put your best foot forward and go for a formal retro look. There are plenty of photo opportunities along the way and this is a chance to branch out from your comfort zone in 2022. 

Step back in time and plan your unforgettable night at or before it is too late!