Before you start imagining lava lamps and terrible shag carpeting, allow partner Johnny Swet to clarify where the '70s inspiration for forthcoming Jimmy in The James Chicago hotel came from.
"We’re not talking hippies. We’re talking '70s chic like Halston and movies like 'Casino'," Swet said. "It’s a chic, classic look and with that came an experimentation with cocktails."
So, imagine less of "That '70s Show" and more bronze, wood and dim lighting—and classic cocktails.
When it opens in the former J Bar space in River North on Aug. 16, the Chicago location of Jimmy will be the second for the restaurant group, which already operates a Jimmy bar in New York City.
"There’s a whole sexiness to it," Swet said of retro cocktail lounges. "It was all about glassware and tongs and barware."
Modern drinkers may not be as familiar with the cocktails of that era, which have not see a revival in quite the way that "Mad Men"-era cocktails such as the old fashioned and manhattan have.
Jimmy aims to (re)introduce guests to classics such as the Harvey Wallbanger, sidecars and Rob Roys, along with scotches and bourbons. Cocktails will fall in the $14-$17 range and wines, beer and a food menu.