While this issue of Esquire was in the process of shipping to the printers, we learned that Prairie School was shutting its doors before the end of May. It’s a shame if you never got to see it, because the place was a beaut.
Conceived by Jim Meehan, who helped codify the speakeasy motif in 2007 with PDT (his saloon-behind-a-phone-booth in New York’s East Village), Prairie School is altogether different: an elegant expression of midwestern pride, from the grain spirits it serves to the way sunlight is, yes, allowed into the room. Named after a philosophy of architecture associated with Frank Lloyd Wright, it feels like the stylistic opposite of PDT, with high ceilings and big windows and a cocktail list that is, like Chicago itself, both slap-your-back friendly and shoot-the-moon ambitious. What you’re drinking: The Lemon Ice cocktail, which is inspired by sweet slush served at Johnnie’s Beef in suburban Elmwood Park.
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