Blokes & Birds, an exciting new restaurant and nightlife concept now set to open mid-October in the Lakeview neighborhood, will redefine the English pub experience in Chicago. Proprietor Daily Webb, a Chicago restaurant and nightlife veteran, has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia, bringing with him ideas and inspiration from across the globe. Combining updated gastropub fare and a smart selection of beers and spirits with a plush, comfortable atmosphere and plenty of nods to Anglophile favorites, Blokes & Birds, which is British slang for guys and girls, will offer a welcoming spot to return to any night of the week.
The bi-level space will be filled with modern, masculine touches such as dark woods, sepia tones and cozy banquettes. Upstairs, the focal points will be a massive, wraparound bar made of salvaged wood and a stunning stone fireplace surrounded by seating, as well as two intersecting communal tables and two 15 foot stand-up communal tables. Downstairs, a second fireplace, custom-made pool table and black and white photos of punk rock culture provide a unique-yet-convivial atmosphere. The bar will also feature several subtly placed TVs throughout the establishment.
The menu, created by accomplished consulting chef Billy Coglin, will feature contemporary twists on English fare and American comfort food. Blokes & Birds’ signature dishes will include a unique selection of starters, entrees and specialties, such as Steamed Cabbage stuffed with stout-braised corned beef, Black Angus Beef Wellington burger, English Tea-Poached Tilapia and Braised Lamb Shepherd’s Pot Pie.
The gastropub fare will be complemented by 70 global imports (Wells Bombardier and Abbot Ale lead the English side, while Gulden Draak, St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Tripel Karmeliet head the Belgium brews) and American craft beers (such as locally-made Krankshaft by Metropolitan Brewing and Resistance IPA by Two Brothers Brewing Company), including 24 on tap and a well-edited wine list.
The custom craft cocktail menu produced by local sommelier, Justin Leone, will feature such libations as “The B-Cup” (a spin on the traditional Pimm’s Cup with Tito’s vodka, Aperol, Pimm’s No.1, St. Germain, Absolut Blueberry, simple syrup, fresh blueberries and lemon juice), “The ‘Choke Hold” (Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon, Cynar, Pama liqueur and Benedictine liqueur) and “Mind the Bollocks” (Evan Williams’ bourbon, Navan liqueur, Peter Heering cherry heering, Demarema syrup, egg white and lime juice).
Music will be a featured accompaniment at Blokes & Birds, with hand-selected tunes from tightly-focused genres. The nightly play list will feature 70s and 80s British rock, punk and new wave, and a dedicated English rock night will be held weekly (think: Joy Division, Adam Ant, Toy Dolls, The Damned, The Clash, Radiohead, Muse and Massive Attack).
Blokes & Birds will be open Sunday through Friday from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. and Saturday from 5 p.m.-3 a.m.