Now open: Dive Bar debuts in Boystown, plans opening bash

Sat. January 24, 2015 9:39 AM by Andy Ambrosius

The latest concept from the minds behind Minibar opens its doors for the first time on Halsted.

Chicago, IL - After a year of heavy construction and intense planning, Dive Bar is officially open for business, bringing the beach to Boystown.

Located at 3445 N. Halsted St., the nautically-themed bar and restaurant comes from the minds behind Minibar, mEAT and DS Tequila Company. Owners Stu Zirin and John Dalton say they meticulously pined over every detail for more than year to transform the former Tapas Gitana restaurant into the bar and restaurant, which brings a unique twist to the North Halsted strip.

Once inside, the atmosphere and aesthetics at Dive Bar are completely different than the former tapas joint. The entire space was gut-rehabbed, with crews installing new distressed wooden walls and ceiling figures. An enormous shipping crate encapsulates the restrooms in the middle of the restaurant, while a sleek, wooden captains quarters fills the rear. It's all complete with portholes and custom lighting, pushing the nautical theme even further.

The bar and restaurant is broken into three spaces: The front bar, named The Dock, is home to $4 cocktails; the rum bar, called The Galley, has 200 different bottles of rum; and the private dining area in the back is called The Captain's Dining Room.

Overall the space holds 50 seats and expands to an outdoor patio, named The Wharf, which will open in the summer. Those who have dined at Tapas Gitana before it closed know it's roughly the same size as Replay Beer & Bourbon's patio.

Craft cocktails from the new bar most resemble the famous drinks from Three Dots and a Dash in River North, and the food is a small-plates menu with everything ranging from oysters to fried chicken.

And while Dive Bar may be open now, the owners are hosting a grand opening party on Sunday, Feb. 1 starting at 3 p.m. leading up to the Superbowl. Menu items will be passed around, introducing everyone to Boystown's latest. Plus, from Feb. 1-5, all food will be 20 percent off.

Dive Bar is open daily from 5 p.m. to midnight.