Jump back as the 80s and 90s are still alive and well at Whiskey Business in Wicker Park. Located at 1367 North Milwaukee Avenue, this bar caters to those who love a little nostalgia with their drinking. I stumbled upon Whiskey Business for a birthday celebration that was slated to take place on the bar’s rooftop. However, being that Chicago has fickle weather, the rain and 40 degree April day forced the party to be inside. Inside the bar was a standard setup of a long bar and tables. Being that the inside was long and narrow, it seemed to get really crowded, really fast. This could have been a downer, but the many pieces of nostalgia and clever drink menu kept it from feeling like just another bar.
While its name is a direct nod to the classic Tom Cruise flick, a few other films and pop culture references were paid tribute to. To name a few drinks, there’s the whiskey-based Drew Berries and More, the vodka-based Clueless, and the mimosa Champagne Supernova. Behind the fully-stocked bar are a number of action figures from the aforementioned decades. There is also a selection of classic board games located on a bookshelf. The décor continued on the tables as there were metal lunchboxes from Ghostbuster and The Goonies that holds napkins. In addition, a framed 8×10 of Tom Cruise in Cocktail is hung proudly near the bar. Decorating the bathroom walls are pictures from Saved by the Bell.
Whiskey Business was established in 2013 and was finally opened in 2016. Along with their selection of whiskey, they have a large selection of French fries which sets them apart from other bars. The bar also offers a number of events, including movie nights with free popcorn. Other events include: stand up, karaoke, and rooftop yoga. A number of televisions surround the walls of the indoor section while the rooftop has large screens for televised sporting (this is also where movie night takes place.)
The staff was very accommodating with the large number of people and allowed us to bring in an outside cake for the birthday boy. Not surprisingly, the bar boasted music from the 80s and 90s, which again helped to differentiate it from other bars with the same setup. There is a lot to pick from and a lot to see at this establishment (it could be perfect for a first date as much of the décor can serve as talking points.) But, be warned that the drinks are fairly strong and can lead you to some risky spending. For more information, check out the Whiskey Business website.
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