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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tim Lacey splits from Ada St.

Posted By on 04.25.12 at 10:40 AM

Tim Lacey with Charles Joly in his Drawing Room days
So there I was yesterday finishing off my review of Ada St., the happening new barstaurant from Michael Kornick and David Morton, when word came that "spiritual adviser" and star of the show Tim Lacey's last shift was Sunday night. That forced me to rewrite the whole damn thing because I was going on and on about how more and more bartenders are getting top billing over chefs.

Both sides were circumspect on the reasons. "Ada and I parted ways because it wasn't the best fit. That's all it came down to," reported Lacey, a veteran of the Drawing Room, Spring, Custom House, Green Zebra, and Trio, during the Achatz days. "I also need to add that there is no animosity in the split."

Per Ada's PR rep: "Tim consulted on the cocktail program and will be pursuing other opportunities at Chicago restaurants. The cocktail list will not be replaced and the talented bartending staff at Ada St. will now be managing the program."

"Consulted"? That wasn't the tune Michael Kornick was singing at the beginning of the month:

“A lot of the restaurant is built around Tim,” he told the Fine Design Dine & Wine blog.

There's an obverse trend to the bartender-as-star: New restaurant opens with a name mixologist attached. Relationship ends. Bar staff struggles to maintain the high standard set. We'll have to wait and see how the folks at Ada do. In the meantime, it still has one thing going for it: chef Zoe Schor's food is really good. You can read my review next Wednesday.

As for Lacey: "I do have something else lined up, but can't really talk about it yet."

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