While you were busy chugging green beer, 16" On Center (Longman & Eagle, The Promontory, and Dusek's) opened a bar in the West Loop. Moneygun, located at 660 W. Lake St., offers a much-needed no-frills drinking establishment to the highly saturated dining district. Managing partner Bruce Finkelman describes it as, "Being able to walk into a great bar with a really good ambiance, where the drinks are tended to with such care, and there's a care for the classics. That's one of those experiences — when you walk in here and sit on the side of this bar — that feels really good."
Opened on Saturday, this former dive previously housed Lake & Union Tap as well as a burlesque show or two. "It's an old bar that's been here forever, and we want you to feel that way when you walk in," says bartender William Duncan. It has been revived while keeping many of the original elements intact, such as the curved bar that now has a new linoleum top and custom tilled backsplash displaying the phrase "Pleasing you, pleases us." Red vinyl booths offer seating for larger groups in the dark and intimate bar. It feels familiar to another dive-turned-New York City hospitality industry favorite by the name of Holiday Cocktail Lounge. Moneygun is a bartender's bar, a neighborhood bar, and a classic cocktail destination all wrapped up in cobalt-grey walls.
"Our High Life is a Tom Collins with Topo Chico. Just the idea of comfortably serving these essential cocktails on any given day is cool."
The team, made up of Duncan, Dustin Drankiewicz, and Justin Anderson, insists that Moneygun is "just a bar," with a menu of 20 classic cocktails that are displayed on a mirrored wall opposite the bar. They are arranged chronologically starting with the mojito and ending with the cosmopolitan, and all cost $10.75. "The spots I go to, I go to get High Life and a shot of whiskey," says Drankiewicz. "Here, our High LIfe is a Tom Collins with Topo Chico. Just the idea of comfortably serving these essential cocktails on any given day is cool." The bar also offers housemade tonic, cola, root or ginger beer and juices for highballs. Eight draft beers compliment a selection of 20 in bottles and cans. A limited wine list offers red, white or sparkling by the glass.
To complement the drinks, chef Jared Wentworth created an elevated snack menu that includes soy pickled eggs with Togarashi; a foie gras grand slam with pancakes, candied bacon powdered and maple braised apples; as well as Kentucky fried quail on buttermilk biscuits. The full food and drink menu can be viewed below.
Moneygun is open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., 3 a.m. on Saturdays.