One of Chicago's most decorated and beloved cocktailers, Paul McGee, is exiting Chicago's largest restaurant group. McGee, who opened Three Dots and a Dash in July 2013 to universal acclaim and lines around the block, is leaving parent company Lettuce Entertain You on December 1.
McGee's next move is currently unknown, as he declined to discuss specifics at this time. More details should be available in a week or two. He did submit a statement through his publicist, which reads: "I'm so proud of my staff at Three Dots and a Dash and all that we've accomplished together. The decision to leave my partnership with Lettuce Entertain You has been a very difficult one, but it's a decision that I've made carefully. I'm excited for what the new year will hold!"
Three Dots, McGee's tiki bar and pet project that was recently named one of the 50 best bars in the world, will remain under the Lettuce umbrella, as LEYE's statement says that the company "looks forward to continuing its excellence." McGee also built cocktail menus at other Lettuce properties, including Bub City and Paris Club Bistro & Bar, and colleague Diane Corcoran will oversee McGee's programs when he leaves.
McGee, who previously worked in Houston and Las Vegas, is the second highly-accomplished cocktailer to leave a decorated group, following Charles Joly's exit from The Aviary. He built a cult following in Chicago by building the cocktail program at The Whistler in Logan Square from the ground up. The Melmans snatched him up in January 2012 and he began building their programs under a much larger spotlight with a vastly-increased financial backing.
Stay tuned to see find out his next move and whether he'll open something new.