Billy Sunday, the Logan Square cocktail bar from celebrated chef Matthias Merges (he was Charlie Trotter's chef de cuisine for 14 years before opening his award-winning Japanese street food spot Yusho) is ironically named for the 19th century baseball player-turned-evangelical preacher who widely supported the Temperance Movement and Prohibition. Beverage director Alex Bachman has earned accolades for his cocktail program, and the wide selection of bourbon (among many other rare spirits) draws crowds. While the collection of about 35 bourbons may not be as robust as some other place’s, it is highly curated and features spirits the team feels represent the best of what's out there—and not necessarily the most expensive. You'll find Johnny Drum, Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, the range of Willett single bottles and, of course, Pappy Van Winkle.
THE DRINK TO DRINK:
Ask for an Old Fashioned and be surprised when you taste the difference, as Bachman makes it with Johnny Drum 101, Italian amaro Rabarbaro and essential oils served over a large piece of hand-cut ice.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
The bar features many framed vintage photos, including Billy Sunday's White Stockings baseball card from the late 1800s, along with his signature and a few photos of him preaching in the 1900s.
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