Before today: just a good day on Merv Griffin’s couch.
Today: celebrity spirit guides who watch over you as you drink beer and eat burgers in Lincoln Park.
Or that’s how you’ll want to think of them at Tommy Knuckles, a new tavern with a soft spot for retro pop culture, opening today.
Imagine if Me-TV opened a friendly neighborhood tavern, and you’ll get a sense of the place. It’s an easygoing hangout that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
You’ll get the vibe right away: walls adorned with those black-and-white posters of stars of yesteryear (Robert Mitchum, Peter Tosh) and golden Rat Pack–era big comfy bucket stools at the bar.
The menu offers a Cuban-inspired sandwich called the Chicken Babaloo, a ham-and-cheese ode to Desi Arnaz. The lobster roll is called (and we’re not quite sure why) a Don Knotts Which. And just to prove it’s up to date with the YouTube generation, there’s a bourbon cocktail called a Harlem Shake.
Now, they have a serious side, too. They show it with a giant wood-fired oven burning Wisconsin oak for flatbreads and baked pastas. A gigantic 50-strong beer list. And a fried-chicken TV Dinner, compartmentalized with all the sides right down to a little dessert.
Yes, you can eat it first if you want.