Style on the rocks

Pull up a stool and meet some of Chicago's most stylish bartenders.

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  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

  • Photograph by Jamie Berg

Photograph by Jamie Berg


 

 

Andrew Thanos Berlin (954 W Belmont Ave, 773-348-4975, berlinchicago.com), Debonair Social Club (1575 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-227-7990, debonairsocialclub.com) and Creative Lounge CHICAGO (1564 N Damen Ave, 312-805-3646, chicagocreativelounge.org)
Different bars, different styles “Last month, I found this six-foot-tall stuffed bear. It was kind of like a Björk throwback. I hollowed out half the bear [and wore it] at the Creative Lounge. At Berlin, I go a little more sexy, a little more avant-garde. And at Debonair, it’s all about the wow factor.”
Signature accessories “I have a bunch of lights, and I weave them into my clothing or they’re duct-taped on. [Sometimes I have] a fog machine on the ground, just so it crawls up from underneath me.”

Maura McGuigan Violet Hour (1520 N Damen Ave, 773-252-1500, theviolethour.com) and Big Star (1531 N Damen Ave, 773-252-7767, bigstarchicago.com)
Uniform at the Violet Hour “In the early 1900s, the time when [Violet Hour–type Prohibition-era drinks were made], it started to become fashionable for women to wear ties and vests. I think wearing menswear-inspired fashion makes women look more feminine. Female doctors or police officers don’t wear girl versions of the uniform. This is my profession.”

Julie Godfrey Y Bar (224 W Ontario St, 312-787-2355, ychicago.com)
Her style “I’m definitely more covered up than the average club bartender. I pretty much dress the same at work as I do going out. I wear a lot of high-end clothes: Dolce & Gabbana, Comme des Garçons, Balenciaga—but I don’t care where I buy something.”
Favorite place to shop “Nordstrom Rack. You can find gorgeous high-end pieces for next to nothing if you’re willing to dig. I found a $3,000 Versace dress for $600.”

Nikki Friar Le Colonial (937 N Rush St, 312-255-0088, lecolonialchicago.com)
Her style “I’m a total girl. I love to dress up and wear little skirts and always heels. I’m a shoe fanatic. I also love to accessorize with a nice cocktail ring…anything from a fabulous $7 ring at Forever 21 to a $500 ring from Chanel.”
Style icon “Victoria Beckham. She’s sexy and classy and fun. And she’s also British.”
Her most prized recent purchase “My feather miniskirt from Bebe.”

Mari Darrow Liar’s Club (1665 W Fullerton Pkwy, 773-665-1110) and Delilah’s (2771 N Lincoln Ave, 773-472-2771, delilahschicago.com)
Uniform “Seamed fishnet stockings, big black boots [with spikes on the heels]. Sometimes I wear a schoolgirl shirt with a tie and a bustier.”
Style icon “Betsey Johnson. She kind of has that punk-rock edge. I have some [of her] hot pink dresses and a few corset bustier pieces.”
Most prized recent purchase “I just purchased a “Moustache rides” T-shirt from Strange Cargo. [Moustaches are] one of my favorite fetishes. All the guys I work with are growing some kind of facial hair.”

Cayce Key rodan (1530 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-276-7036, rodanchicago.com)
Uniform “Ridiculously enough, I have rotating uniforms. On Monday, it’s gothy new wave here, so I tend to go for darker colors, dramatic hues. Wednesday is a slower night, so I want to pop out from behind the bar. I go with patterns, anything from plaids to stripes. Saturday is the longest shift [and it’s busy], so I go for muted gray. I literally want to fit into the background of the bar.”
Favorite stores “My favorite store closed, which was Hejfina. For general work wear, H&M, Apartment Number 9, Una Mae’s Freak Boutique, Opening Ceremony.”

Paul McGee the Whistler (2421 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-227-3530, whistlerchicago.com)
His style “I guess right now I’m into the American heritage–type thing, a lot of J.Crew, some vintage Pendleton shirts. I love Levi’s jeans. The bow tie I wear a couple days a week. I usually like that with a vest.”
How many bow ties are in his closet? “About eight. All my bow ties are from Marc Jacobs.”
Source of inspiration “My wife has a big impact on how I dress. She’s a big fan of [street-fashion blog] the Sartorialist, so she’ll throw ideas my way. She [also] draws inspiration from one of our friends who’s the visual merchandiser for Jayson Home & Garden, Viktor Van Bramer.”

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