The management behind Optima doesn’t think customers need a dance floor. Guests can dance anywhere they please as they’ll have DJs and fun playlists pumping tunes inside the new Old Town restaurant and bar. It’s a bar inspired by concert venues in what started out as a tribute to rock music expanded to include hip hop, and other genres. It’s from the Arizona company that opened the Rabbit Hole down the street at 1252 N. Wells Street.
Nostalgia fueled the venue, said Anthony Georgoulis, the company’s director of operations. They handled the design in house with old concert fliers, cassette tapes, and rock posters. They’ve wiped out all traces of Salpicon, the Mexican restaurant that it replaces after a 22-year run. Down the line, they hope to host some live music. Think scaled-down outfits with a singer or keyboardist with an upright bass.
They’re serving upscale bar food with crafty cocktails. Georgoulis said they didn’t want to be a lemming — plenty of bars are featuring “classic drinks with a modern twist.” Instead they want to serve something different and fresh. There’s 12 boozy cocktails and four sprit-free drinks.
Georgoulis explained the concept as a bunch of chefs who dropped out of culinary school and went rogue. There’s 92 seats on the first floor and they’ll have a 24-seat patio. The second floor has room for 125 seats. It’s more of a wide-open layout.
Check out the menu and take a tour of the space below.
Optima, 1252 N. Clark Street, (312) 778-7111, hours not posted yet.