Paul McGee's next bar will be...a tiki bar. The celebrated barman, who opened one of the most successful and best-received bars in recent memory—his pet River North tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash—will go tiki again with Lost Lake, this time for Land & Sea Dept instead of Lettuce Entertain You, on Diversey and Kedzie on the Logan Square/Avondale border.
Taking over the short-lived State Fair and The Previous Administration spaces at 3152 and 3154 W. Diversey, there will actually be two new concepts there: McGee's tiki spot and an American-Chinese takeout spot next door, Thank You, run by chef Gabriel Freeman (Ruxbin, Mott Street). Expect wok-seared food available until at least 3 a.m. via takeout, delivery, and to carry into Lost Lake next door.
Chinese food to soak up McGee's drinks should be a welcome feature, as the former Whistler mixmaster is planning a program with more than 275 rums that will be available in both classic and modern tiki cocktails. Martin Cate, partner of celebrated San Francisco tiki bar Smuggler's Cove (which is on the World's 50 Best Bars list alongside Three Dots and a Dash), will also be involved and running a rum-sipping club.
How Lost Lake will compare to Three Dots will be an interesting facet of this news, although they are in too disparate neighborhoods to be in direct competition. Chicago cocktail enthusiasts will find out very soon, however, as Lost Lake and Thank You are both scheduled to open in mid-January.