Jim Meehan to open Chicago bar

15th May, 2017 by Kristiane Sherry

Jim Meehan, the founder of acclaimed New York bar Please Don’t Tell, is to open a site in Chicago in late summer 2017.

Jim-Meehan-Tales-of-Cocktail-The venture, named Prairie School and developed in partnership with Heisler Hospitality’s Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner, will bring a Midwest vibe to the city’s West Loop neighbourhood.

The “uniquely American” style will also reflect a “global perspective”, with the team aiming to “push the envelope on everything from bar design to cocktails to hospitality”.

Set over a 9,000sqft space on Morgan Street, Prairie School will be split into two yet-to-be-revealed concepts.

Meehan had met with Eisler and Heisner a number of times, but met to discuss working together formally in 2016.

“We were fresh off the opening of Bad Hunter in the West Loop last fall with no immediate plans for a new project,” said Eisler.

“The Morgan Street space became available and all of the pieces seemed to fall into place rather quickly. We began talking in more specific terms and discovered our individual visions for this specific space aligned.”

Meehan added: “I grew up in River Forest and Oak Park and moved to New York City in 2002 to build my career in hospitality. My admiration for Chicago has only grown since I left, as I’ve watched the city transform: growing its international stature as a hub for food, wine and culture.

“I’m eager to be part of it in this project, which affords me the opportunity to explore my roots as both an outsider and a native son.”

Meehan’s latest bar opening follows a 2016 project with cocktail historian David Wondrich when the pair created a Punch-focused book.

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