Last week, the Chicago Athletic Association debuted its latest pop-up bar in its Tank space, revealing a classy lounge that draws inspiration from the Art Institute's new exhibition, “John Singer Sargent and Chicago's Gilded Age.” The fleeting concept is called Dear Carmencita in honor of Sargent's famous portrait of Spanish dancer Carmen Dauset—you'll find a replica of the piece hanging above the bar.
Organizers worked with West Town art gallery Johalla Projects and local designer Marina Kozak to transform the space into a ritzy parlor that might have existed in the city during the late 1800s. The space is filled with period-appropriate furniture, rugs, light fixtures and drapery, all sourced to match the landmarked historical elements in the rest of the hotel, which was established in 1890 during the height of the Gilded Age. Our favorite detail is miniature forced-perspective staircase behind the bar that functions as a liquor shelf.
Land and Sea Dept. beverage director Paul McGee formulated the pop-up's cocktail menu, which features drinks like the La Carmencita, made with champagne, citron syrup, mint and seasonal berries, as well as the potent Street in Venice, with London dry gin, dry vermouth, maraschino and absinthe.
Keeping with the art-inspired Gilded Age theme, the pop-up will host a series of events before if closes on August 5. Guests can paint a picture of their pets on July 20, sample dishes that were debuted at the 1983 World’s Columbian Exposition on July 21, browse prints at a pop-up market on July 28 or take salsa dancing lessons on August 5. You can find additional information about the event series on the Chicago Athletic Association's website.
Take a look at some photos of the Dear Carmencita pop-up below.