Booze Muse

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The Boozehound Strikes Back: Why Drinks Over Dearborn needs to be saved

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By Michael NagrantBeer_Wall-200x149

“Second floor retail is murder,” says Kyle McHugh, aka “The Boozehound” and owner of boutique wine, beer and spirits retailer Drinks Over Dearborn (DOD). Though McHugh learned this truism in business school, he opened DOD on the second floor of an old office building called The Raleigh on Dearborn between Erie and Ontario anyway.

It wasn’t that he was the Evil Knievel of liquor retailers interested in spitting on MBA textbook theories. Rather, a greater truism trumped all: rent prices in the Gold Coast (an area he preferred for its affluent traffic) were a straight-up serial killing. McHugh figured he could better avoid the death of his business by executing his business plan the right way: get a bigger space to conduct classes, tastings and host a wide variety of interesting stock instead of compromising and blowing his life’s savings and small-business loan on a dinky little box on the first floor.

And in a business climate where faux anonymity and cloak and dagger is the new version of the Vegas-style blinking neon sign, who could discount McHugh’s decision? After all, the Lincoln Park restaurant Alinea doesn’t even have a sign and the popular Wicker Park cocktail lounge The Violet Hour looks like a graffiti-covered abandoned building.

If you build it, they will come, right? Read the rest of this entry »

The Art of Cocktails, story already in progress

Spirits Just Sound Happy, Don't They?, The Fine Art of Mixology No Comments »

The new cocktail menu at Sepia, curated by Joshua Pearson & Peter Vestinos Read the rest of this entry »

Newcity’s Top 5 of Everything 2007: Drink

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Top 5 Cocktails
Fig and almond old-fashioned, Sepia, Peter Vestinos
Pear Nectar, Sepia, Peter Vestinos
Blue Ridge Manhattan, Violet Hour, Tobey Maloney
Citrine, Graze, Jennifer Contraveos
El Corazon with Del Maguey mezcal float, Nacional 27, Adam Seger
—Michael Nagrant

Top 5 Chicago Mixologists
Adam Seger, Nacional 27
Peter Vestinos, Sepia
Jennifer Contraveos, formerly of Graze
Tobey Maloney, Violet Hour
John Kinder, MK
—Michael Nagrant

Top 5 Local Brews
Hop Juice Double India Pale Ale, Two Brothers
Alpha King, Three Floyds
Pere Jacques, Goose Island
Summertime Kolsch, Goose Island
Heavy Handed IPA, Two Brothers
—Michael Nagrant