The California Clipper

California or Bust

Brendan Sodikoff Does the California Clipper

None 4 Photos The California Clipper
Take one retro cocktail lounge.

Add one nightlife impresario.

Shake gently.

Hey, we said gently. Oh, great. Now you’ve gone and shaken it too hard.

Here. Watch how a real pro does it:

Reacquaint yourself with The California Clipper, the Humboldt Park bar that’s just been polished up by Brendan Sodikoff, now open... again. (See the slideshow here.)

Things are a bit different now, as you might expect. Witness:

The Atmosphere
Before: A vinyl-and-chrome-accented art deco tavern. Red lights glowing over the faces of hipsters. Tattered vintage furniture occasionally held together with tape.
After: Still art deco. The red lights still glow. Now: less electrical tape and more leather club chairs.

The Cocktails
Before: A respectable rundown of old-timey favorites like grasshoppers and brandy Alexanders.
After: Those retro drinks are now part of a 75-to-80-strong cocktail list, including shaved-ice cocktails, punch bowls, rare scotch... and $3 shots, if you insist.

The Entertainment
Before: Local bands. Bingo nights.
After: Local bands, yes. Bingo, no.

The Cigar Shop in the Back
Before: Entirely nonexistent.
After: Well, it will exist. Look for a shop in the back with hand-rolled cigars and artisanal tobacco to open soon.

Artisanal tobacco. So it’s come to that.


The California Clipper
1002 N California Ave
(at Augusta)
Chicago, IL, 60622


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