Fame bar designer Antonio Bellatore and chef Sam Demarco. (Fame )
Hot on the heels of River North's Gallery Bar opening, Chicago will soon welcome another art-inspired bar. Opening July 26 in the former Paradise Cantina space at 2015 W. Division St., Fame Bar aims to showcase local and national artists alongside a menu of cocktails and small plates.
Designed by HGTV personality Antonio Ballatore, the space drew inspiration from street artistry and its intersection with pop culture—maybe Banksy by way of Lady Gaga? Aiko, a New York City-based artist, anchors the first show, which also features pieces by Chicago artists.
At its heart though, Fame is a bar. Craft cocktails such as a pineapple rum punch, a cucumber martini and a bacon Manhattan will be shaken or stirred at a "mixology stage," which can convert to a DJ booth. Chef Sam "SammyD" Demarco has designed a menu of small plates—called "Sammy D'Lites"—including tuna poke atop plantain chip "nachos", an FBBBLT (Fame's Bao Bun BLT) and an Avocado Toasty sandwich.
Given its location on the boundary of Wicker Park and Ukrainian Village, Fame's art will have to contend with the actual street art and graffiti that graces nearby walls and buildings.
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