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Meadowlark Hospitality’s back-alley craft cocktail bar “The Meadowlark”, is pleased to announce that its first evening of service was on Monday, October 3rd in Logan Square. Tucked away behind the group’s daytime salumeria Lardon and beer-centric sister spot Union by way of a side-street entrance, the intimate and dimly lit 825 sq. ft bar (2812 W. Palmer St.) is a tip of the hat to Chicago’s cocktail culture, both past and present.
Meadowlark Hospitality’s partners Steve Lewis and Chris Thompson welcome new beverage director and The Violet Hour alum, Abe Vucekovich to helm the creative cocktail program, rotating drinks several times a year with an entirely new “theme” of offerings that draw inspiration from a myriad of influences. For the October opening, The Meadowlark introduces its debut cocktail menu, paying homage to the namesake of the hospitality group with Field Guide Vol 1: Birds of the Midwest.
“We thought it most appropriate to explore our avian friends in the debut menu,” says Owner Steve Lewis in a statement. “It’s our ‘taking-flight’ moment, and what better way to honor the journey that we’ve been on these past few years building Meadowlark Hospitality than to show our reverence for the name behind it.”
With 16 cocktails crafted by Vucekovich, the menu comes by way of a paper-bound field guide where each drink is named after a regional Midwestern bird and accompanied by a corresponding vintage ornithology illustration. Vucekovich takes an ingredient-driven approach to drinks with globally sourced, esoteric spirits and unique flavor combinations punctuated by the bar’s production of house-made syrups, liqueurs, infusions, and bitters. Although offerings will change, guests can expect all cocktail lists by The Meadowlark to consistently run the gamut from bold, spirit-forward sippers to lighter, shaken drinks. Future cocktail menu concepts may draw from a broad spectrum of influences such as NYC “CBGB” music punk scene in the 1970s, to the cocktail revolution in Paris in the 1920s, to more abstract inspirations like movements in modern architecture in Chicago.
Some highlights from the current menu include the comforting “Snowy Owl” featuring soft white flower and lemon verbena notes from Quebranta Pisco paired with crème de cacao, nutty orgeat, and the froth of a whole shaken egg, or the “Ruby-Throated Hummingbird” which combines Bolivian brandy, Amontillado Sherry, amaro, and house-smoked orange bitters for a light and floral libation. There will also be an abbreviated menu of small bites.
The 30 seat (14 bar seats), vintage-inspired lounge mixes nods to old Chicago by way of exposed original brick from the 110-year-old building’s façade and pairs it with notes of mid-late 1800s in-home libraries via plush cognac leather chesterfield couches, worn books propped up on built-in shelves, brass accents, and a white quartz bar top contrasted by dark, hand-stained mahogany paneling. Much of the antique décor and finishes in the space have been personally handcrafted or curated by Lewis over the last year and a half.
The Meadowlark’s first week of service will run from October 3rd – October 10th, from 6p.m to 2 a.m., then moving forward the bar will operate during those hours Thursday-Monday each week. Reservations can be made on Resy.