The southwest side of Chicago isn't the first place most think of when it comes to a speakeasy, but Anthony Lacoco wants to change that. He's renovated the top floor of MaddAnthony's Bar & Grill, his sports bar/pizza joint in Brighton Park. His new cocktail lounge opened on Saturday, as the Coco Club is ready for the neighborhood on weekends.
"I'm kind of a fanatic when it comes to secret stuff," Lacoco said. "Secret doors, secret clubs — all of those things — even a secret club entrance."
The Coco Club is a throwback late-night cocktail spot in an under-served area that's open on Saturday and Sunday. A space like this doesn't exist in the neighborhood, a spot that features homemade bitters, premium cocktails and entertainment. Lacoco envisions jazz music, acoustic guitars and perhaps live comedy. There's a menu of six martinis, with the Soyko (Plymouth gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, simple syrup and Drillaud's Violet Creme) being his favorite. There's also craft beer, such as Three Floyd's Zombie Dust (when available). There's no food, but could be flatbread served in the future.
It's also a more upscale spot then what the neighborhood is accustomed to, Lacoco said. There's white tablecloths, and they'll take reservations on OpenTable. The club will also have a dress code. Sports coats aren't mandatory, and customers can wear nice jeans, but forget sandals or sneakers.
Lacoco's run his sports bar for about 30 years, but it seems there's a need for a space for couples or bachelorette parties nearby. Lacoco is also a boxing fan. The space won't focus on sports, but he wants to show the bigger matches upstairs, as well as the Super Bowl.
"I don't get excited often, but I'm really excited about this," Lacoco said.
Coco Club, 3350 W. 47th St., (773) 801-0724. Open 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays, closes 5 a.m. on Sundays (Saturday nights).