The Paul McGee-Melman boys' project? It's a tiki bar, of course. | Bleader

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Paul McGee-Melman boys' project? It's a tiki bar, of course.

Posted By on 02.10.12 at 12:15 PM

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Paul McGee, tiki dervish
You could see it coming a mile away. In the days after Paul McGee announced his impending departure from the Whistler to join R.J. and Jerrod Melman in an unspecified River North cocktail bar, if you casually suggested it might be a tiki bar he'd fall suspiciously silent. But McGee's frequent tiki nights at the Whistler, which reintroduced and revitalized an unjustly moribund cocktail subgenre for hundreds of happy drinkers, made it a natural, obvious suspicion.

And so, late yesterday afternoon Time Out was awarded the official scoop. Yes, yes, McGee will create the whiskey-focused cocktail list for Bub City, the country-and-western barbecue joint the Melmans have been threatening in the space at 435 N. Clark that formerly housed Frankie Z's, but the important thing will be the 4,000-square-foot tiki bar he'll command in the basement. Not a Melman boys' nightclub scene such as the adjuncts to Paris Club and Hub 51 (we're promised), but an honest-to-Lono independent tiki bar devoted to the sort of complex, perfectly balanced, and dangerously potent drinks McGee resurrected and invented at the Whistler.

Speaking of the the Whistler, owner Billy Helmkamp has been teasing a new post-McGee cocktail menu.

Meantime, I'm looking forward to raising a Zombie whenever I damn well please.

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