Last week I attended a networking event at Bad Dog Tavern in Lincoln Square. I was stoked to be in my old ‘hood and met some cool people. A few new connections I made were recent Chicago transplants. One guy I met had recently stumbled upon what is now his new favorite bar: Blue Stem Martini Lounge.
Our group of five jumped into a cab and headed south to this place. Now I had heard of this bar before, but had never been. Upon arrival, the place was dead. But it was by no means lacking character in the form of Lefko: the bar owner and martini concoct-ress. We sat down at the bar, and she greeted us in a raspy, smoker, south-side voice.
Me: Wow, there are so many choices, I don’t know what I want!
Lefko: Ok, honey, what do ya ordah when ya go to da bar?
Me: I’m a beer girl.
Lefko: Ok, I’m gunna make ya something called the Clee-ah. [Makes drink, and pours out a sample in the martini glass] Give it a try, honey.
Me: Wow! That’s delicious!
Lefko: I know, I know...[pours the rest of the martini into the glass]
Me: You’re like, the “Martini Whisperer”!
Lefko: Oh gawd, you-ah too sweet!
And so we drank martinis and played songs on the jukebox for a few hours. I had the bad misfortune of picking one of my favorite childhood songs that has a cowboy singing the N-word (not the reason why it's a childhood favorite, mind you), and that song just happened to come on when the only other patron of the night enters the bar. Did I mention he was black? Poor timing, Urbanist, poor timing.
You can read more about Blue Stem Martini and Lefko in these yelp reviews.