Eater Chicago reports:
The owner of Rebel & Rye, a new whiskey bar slated to open by January’s end in River West, wants to overwhelm customers as they walk inside the renovated space. American whiskey, not just bourbon, will be at the forefront and displayed prominently. So far, the bar’s stocked with more than 200 bottles from 28 states, but owner Alex Zupancic wants to eventually increase that number to 400 bottles. Rebel & Rye will also include a whiskey club that offers engraved glasses and personalized bottles.
“I want customers to walk in and say ‘holy crap, look at all those whiskies,’” he said.
While a little awe is fine, Zupancic wants to avoid any pretentiousness associated with whiskey. Inclusivity is what draws drinkers to the spirit, he said. His bar is across the street from one of Chicago’s most infamous late-night haunts, Richard’s Bar. Around the corner stands one of the city’s premier Italian restaurants, Piccolo Sogno. River West is diverse, and Zupancic see an opportunity to cater to all crowds. Whiskey has the ability to bring together people from different walks of life, he said. A news release trumpets a “sneakers or suits” atmosphere for the bar.
The dark space features a bar in front and another in back. It’s in the former Funky Buddha space (726 W. Grand Avenue.) and takes up about 1,200 square feet. Zupancic said the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion inspired him, and he can’t wait to open up his new bar to people from all walks of life. He’s looking to open it the last week of January.
(click here to continue reading Rebel & Rye to feature 200 bottles of whiskey in River West – Eater Chicago.)
This sounds interesting, and stumbling distance from my office. Will check it out eventually.
Not sure how the Whiskey Rebellion fits in exactly, though…
The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary war veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called “whiskey tax” was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. It became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but American whiskey was by far the country’s most popular distilled beverage in the 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a “whiskey tax”. Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures to make whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.
(click here to continue reading Whiskey Rebellion – Wikipedia.)