Not that there’s anything wrong with saunas. The terry cloth. The massages. The way they tend to be resurrected into fascinating restaurants...
For instance: Trenchermen, which soft-opens tonight in Bucktown in what was once a 1923 Turkish bath.
Created by the guys behind Bangers & Lace and Nightwood, and the talented brothers Sheerin—Michael (Blackbird, wd~50) and Patrick (the Signature Room, Everest)—this clocks in somewhere between experimental gastropub and curiosity shop.
So yeah, it’ll be strange at first. You’ll be greeted by a hostess standing at a chest of wooden drawers with the world’s most random labels: “eyeballs,” “pencils.” Then, you’ll be guided past giant terrarium tubes and down a half-floor into the bar. (Assuming, of course, you don’t open the eyeballs drawer.)
If you’re having dinner with friends, stay here. The bar even has a table attached to the end. Choose from eight beers, a rotating cocktail and eventually champagne—all on tap. Also on tap: Jeppson’s Malört (it’s the champagne of Malört), just the thing to wash down Scotch quail eggs. Or possibly vice versa.
But for one-on-one dinners, you’ll want to grab a snug booth in the dining room and begin your seduction over Texas brisket with mustard pasta. Or maybe even some smoked sturgeon with chocolate malt granola.
Unless you had that for breakfast.