Acclaimed bartender Paul McGee to tend bar at Milk Room for the 1st time since it opened

by Joseph Hernandez

Heads up, cocktail groupies: Paul McGee, owner of Lost Lake and beverage director of Land and Sea Dept.’s Cherry Circle Room and Milk Room in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, will be tending bar at the latter for the first time since it opened.

Once a month, the cocktail wizard will hold court behind the stick at the intimate eight-seat Milk Room to mix and serve cocktails from his favorite vintage cocktail books. These drinks will be served alongside the normal menu, but when McGee’s around, why settle for the usual?

The first of McGee’s bartending shifts is Tuesday. He’ll be mixing drinks — made with vintage spirits — from “The Gentleman’s Companion,” a cocktail tome by Charles Baker first published in 1939. A taste of what’s to come: The Remember the Maine will feature 1970s Cherry Heering and 1950s Abbott’s Bitters, while the Ile de France gets a dose of rare 1980s Yellow Chartreuse.

These cocktails are a time-capsule twice over, and McGee will only be behind the bar, mixing drinks and sharing stories about the book and booze, for the first two blocks of seating, until 9 p.m. Book now via reservation site Tock, or miss out.

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