The J. Parker, the forthcoming rooftop lounge at the Hotel Lincoln, was originally shooting to open at the beginning of June. However, with permitting and construction, the date has been pushed back, likely to mid July. Eater got a sneak peek of the space last week and when the indoor/outdoor lounge opens, it'll no doubt be a super hot spot—the views alone are with the price of admission (if there were a cover).
Once the J. Parker opens, it'll offer a pretty cool quarterly rotating new drink program based on destinations where three locations will be highlighted each quarter featuring three cocktails and a punch from each. Perennial Virant's new beverage director, Erin Hayes, will introduce the first three destinations over the next few weeks with the first being Mexico. "There's nothing better than sitting on a patio on a hot day than drinking a margarita," Hayes said.
The destinations idea came really from the J. Parker's location overlooking Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. "I was inspired that we're atop a hotel, overlooking the water, exposed to the elements ... this lends itself to the idea of vacation and escape," Hayes said. The program will feature classic cocktails from the various locales and incorporate chef Paul Virant's philosophy of cooking with fresh, local ingredients like house cherry pickling preservatives or housemade syrup using fruit from Seedling Farms.
Hayes isn't yet revealing the other destinations, but did say there's a chance she may visit (in theory) the Kentucky bourbon trail or Peru for pisco-based drinks for inspiration and that she may have an ode to New Orleans the week of the Tales of the Cocktail festival in July.
So what's she starting with? Hayes came up with her own version of the following cocktails associated with Mexico.
· Parker Paloma: Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila with fresh lime juice, Izze pparkling grapefruit and grapefruit bitters.
· PV Margarita: Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila with fresh lime juice and PV hive honey and demerara syrup
· Smoking Chaqueta: Del Maguey Mezcal Vida with Seedling Farms raspberry syrup, fresh lime, mango puree and cherry Bob Pepper
· Jalisco Punch (serves 6-8 people): Olmeca Altos Reposado Tequila with caramelized pineapple syrup, fresh lemon juice, Russian River Valley chardonnay and dry sparkling apple cider.