Craft cocktails in Ukrainian Village

Chicago

Craft cocktails in Ukrainian Village
Craft cocktails in Ukrainian Village

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Even people who work in their profession's most elevated positions relish getting back to basics on their own time -- like a 5-star chef who goes home to devour grilled cheeses, or a concert cellist whose iPod holds nothing but Foreigner. Getting back to boozing fundamentals, Bar DeVille. From the owners of a mini-empire of variously purposed, approachably upscale lounges (Victory/Empire Liquors, Angels & Kings), DeVille's meant to be their dream dive bar, the sort of place they'd want to hang at every night (and should, since they all live within a few blocks). Behind the unmarked facade are three drunkenly comfortable rooms: up front's dark green leather & pine booths with tabletops fashioned after mounting plaques you'd expect to read "Fast Pitch Champs '89"; further back, an exposed brick parlor hosting a red felted antique pool table, spacious enough to play w/o jabbing strangers' buttocks; then a back room strewn with flea market furniture and dominated by a DJ booth fashioned from a church pew, where waitresses'll sell beers by the six pack -- like 7-11s, and equally likely to laugh at your jokes. Throughout, tap & bottled beers range from dive staples (PBR, High Life) to 30+ upscale brews (Hitachino Nest, Belzebuth Blonde Ale); and because even truck stops now have specialty cocktails, DeVille's slinging 18 of them, from a classic "Dark and Stormy" to the "Jumpin' Jack Smash", made with Laird's Bonded Applejack ("A is for apple; J is for...what was the question again?") Bonus drinking: in the far back, there's a Dutch door'd closet serving chalkboard-special shots and beers for $3 -- each of which'll be "Cold as Ice", and likely to give you "Double Vision". Leaving you unlikely to "Know What Love Is".

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1. Bar DeVille 701 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

Craft drafts, liquor-forward libations, and hip environs -- such are the makings of a great night out at Bar DeVille. Manned by veteran bartender Brad Bolt and Chicago hospitality gurus Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner, Bar DeVille offers expertly mixed cocktails, whether familiar classics or original favorites like The Hard Sell, made with Beefeater gin, Malort, St. Germain, and lemon. Come for the drinks, stay for the ambience: from the live DJ, pool room, and photo booth, to the Art Deco-inspired bar and refurbished Victorian sofas, this trendy neighborhood watering hole is frequented by industry folk and locals alike.

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