Many Chicagoans were introduced to Bottled Blonde through its shocking, lengthy and perhaps racist dress code in late-May 2017. However, the River North bar has drawn controversy for far longer, as neighbors circulated a petition about noise and traffic concerns even before the bar opened more than two years ago.
The sports bar and restaurant's Arizona-based owners saw great opportunity when SushiSamba closed and vacated a prime piece of River North real estate in 2014. But the building's neighbors, who felt that Bottled Blonde ownership ignored their concerns about security, noise, and other issues, organized a series of contentious community meetings at City Hall over the summer of 2016. The bar's management subsequently argued that they had the right to run their business they way the wanted and that they were willing to work with city officials.
Eater Chicago has been there since the start. Get familiar with Bottled Blonde's controversial saga in Chicago and catch up on previous coverage below.