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Tour Wrigleyville’s Classy New Palace of Bourbon and Fancy Cocktails

Read the menus for Mordecai at the Hotel Zachary

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Mordecai opens on Saturday.
Barry Brecheisen
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.

For the sake of balance, Matthias Merges now has a restaurant/bar named after a former Cubs and a former White Sox player. Billy Sunday in Logan Square is one of the city’s most influential cocktail bars and is named after the former White Stockings player who crusaded for temperance in the 1880s. Building on that momentum, Merges and Folkart Restaurant Management (Old Irving Brewing, Gideon Sweet) have created Mordecai, a palace of bourbon and cocktail culture right across from Wrigley Field inside the Hotel Zachary. The two-level space is named after ace pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and manages to honor the game while also sheltering customers from the typical raucous crowds of fans found on any given summer night outside of The Friendly Confines.

Mordecai opens on Saturday and a patio will debut later this spring. Like Merges’s previous projects, the new space demonstrates thoughtful research that explores culinary and neighborhood histories. Folkart enlisted fcSTUDIO for this project. That’s the firm owned by Rachel Crowl, Merges’s wife. FcStudio’s Julie Fisher said they didn’t want to mimic the early 1900s when Brown pitched. Instead they celebrated an “unapologetically modern” bar that’s influenced by baseball. But, besides the historic photos on the wall, the space doesn’t hit customers over the head with sports references. Take a look at the back of the banquette seats. There’s pinstripes and the use of chestnut leather was influenced by baseball gloves.

“But these’s also a classiness and attention to detail represented in the space that would have been found in the baseball crowd of that era, when men wore suits to games,” Fisher said.

Chef Jared Wentworth has found a home at Mordecai. Best known for bringing Longman & Eagle to Michelin-star status in Logan Square, his food was most recently tasted at Regards to Edith in Fulton Market. His menu includes a Crackerjack doughnut and porchetta. During Cubs gamedays, the menu will shrink. Folkart knows about the Cubs crowds. Last year, they opened Lucky Dorr, the craft beer bar at The Park at Wrigley.

Walk through the space in the photos and read the menus below. Mordecai opens on Saturday at the Hotel Zachary.

There are two bars inside.
The wooden floors are reminiscent of Louisville Sluggers bats.
Drink from the country’s largest collection of Pappy here.
The patio isn’t quite ready.
It’s a charming modern meets vintage vibe.
Hands off the Pappy.
Wrigleyville isn’t used to a place like this.
Historic baseball photos hang from the walls.
Who said print’s dead?
Moredcai Brown was the best pitcher on a collection of Cubs teams in the 1900s that rank as the best ever.
He didn’t actually have just three fingers.
On game days, they’ll serve an abbreviated menu.
A nook to meet other fans.
Check out The Park at Wrigley.
The C tables are tiny, yet functional.
The larger of the two bars.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
Check out the patterns on the back of the chairs.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
The space honors the game, but also gives fans an escape from it.
The space’s namesake was the ace pitcher for the great Cubs teams of the early 19th Century.
Old Mills (London dry gin, Geneva, Genepy, lemon, passionfruit, egg white)
Duped by Three Fingers (wheated bourbon, carob, gunpowder tea bitters)
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
Seasonal crudites
Crackerjack doughnut (caramel popcorn, Bavarian cream, candied peanuts, sorghum pops)
Barry Brecheisen
Crab puff with spicy-sweet chili sauce
Porchetta (English pea risotto, chicharron, barbecue carrots, cumin-honey vinaigrette)

Hotel Zachary, Chicago, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

3630 North Clark Street, , IL 60613 (773) 302-2300 Visit Website

Billy Sunday

1115 North Brevard Street, , NC 28206 Visit Website


3632 North Clark Street, , IL 60613 (773) 269-5410 Visit Website