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The Victor Bar, North Center's Parisian Cocktail Bar, Finally Opening Next Week

After struggling with zoning, the cocktail menu's ready and waiting.

The Victor Bar
The Victor Bar
The Victor Bar
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The three brothers that form the ownership group of The Victor Bar plan to finally open their Parisian-inspired cocktail bar mid-next week in North Center. They've assembled a menu of 11 signature drinks and remain eager in sharing their upscale beverage concept with the neighborhood. It's been a long road for the Fehrs, as they found the spot for their bar in December 2014 and struggled with zoning changes, delaying the opening from last year.

Karl Fehr described the 700-square-foot space at 4011 N. Damen Ave. as sleek and intimate. Many candles will provide much of the illumination and there are no televisions. A 28-foot long bar is the centerpiece with 16 seats, and there's six tables and a long bench providing seating for about 30 more.

The Fehrs, who work together as attorneys at the Fehr Law Group, named the bar for Victor Noir, the 19th Century Frenchman killed in a duel by Prince Pierre Bonaparte — the nephew of Napoleon. John Fehr, the youngest of the three, studied in Paris and was inspired by Noir's tomb. His brother explained how Noir's death ignited a revolution.

"There's no Eiffel Tower or maps of Paris," Karl Fehr said, while describing his bar's interiors. "But it's still kind of a tribute to the times of old Paris."

This is the Fehrs' first bar operation and they consulted with Femme Du Coupe to create a cocktail menu. On top of the 11 signature drinks, also expect four variations of Old Fashioneds in rum, brandy, mescal and rye versions. The Victor Bar will offer eight different wines and pour draft beer from nearby Begyle Brewing Co. There's no kitchen, but they'll offer a selection of gourmet potato chips, caramels, plus champagne and whiskey truffles. They may change the drink menu two or three times a year.

Karl Fehr pointed to The Violet Hour as helping to bring attention to craft cocktails in Chicago. They took over a former jewelry store, and Fehr said the process was educational, as they built a bar from the top down opposed to buying an existing bar's space.

"This is our second business venture together," Fehr said. "We've really been fascinated by the cocktail industry in how much it's taken off in the last 10 years."