King of Cups has announced its grand opening on July 23rd in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The bar, owned by the father-son duo of Dino and Brandon Vulpitta, is located at 2238 N. Lincoln Ave and embraces a mystical theme with tarot card readers, weekly entertainment, and a cocktail program.
“I’ve been to nightlife and cocktail bar destinations across four continents and dozens of countries,” says the older Vulpitta. “What I’ve learned is that unique experiences are more memorable than the things I bought or ate. That’s what we’ve recreated here; a new and refreshing take to Chicago’s cocktail scene that welcomes anyone looking to have a good drink and a good time that they won’t forget.”
The 33-year Chicago hospitality veteran is no stranger to serving up memories for a variety of guests. He has worked in the nightclub industry since the late 90s, taking hosting jobs at clubs like the Limelight and working with big names like Dennis Rodman to resurrect burlesque establishments.
Brandon, the younger Vulpitta, also shares his father’s passion for creating nightlife experiences. The duo also runs Brando’s Speakeasy, a karaoke lounge located in the South Loop. “At King of Cups, we’ve tried to preserve the eclectic atmosphere of its predecessor, Sterch’s, which hosted iconic locals like Roger Ebert and Helen Hunt,” says Brandon. “To continue that legacy, we’re committed to bringing world-class service to Chicago nightlife in a smaller, more accessible venue.”
The crafted cocktails offer fresh ingredients crushed, mixed, and served with housemade syrups and bitters. The $12 cocktail menu features bar favorites like:
· Maximillian the Imposter: Banana infused mezcal, bourbon, PX Sherry, chocolate bitters, angostura bitters, applewood smoke
· Grand Poobah: vodka, Chareau, watermelon, lime, mint
· Rococo Rush: coconut washed rum, chardonnay, demerara, tiki bitters, absinthe rinse, toasted coconut rim
· King of Make Believe: silver mezcal, Cointreau, lime, bell pepper (optional spice level).
The menu is a collaborative effort between the Vulpittas and the beverage director, Daniel Jahnke. For Daniel, who has worked at Chicago bars such as Drumbar, Bar Sotano, and LondonHouse. “The menu has something for everyone,” said Jahnke. “Drink novices, party drinkers, and even cocktail connoisseurs can expect to find recognizable, fresh, and balanced ingredients in every cocktail.”
King of Cups is open on Wednesdays-Fridays from 5 p.m. - 2 a.m., Saturdays from 6 p.m. - 3 a.m. and Sundays from 6 p.m. - 2 a.m. Tarot readings are available every day for $15 from 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. and are complimentary on Fridays. On Saturdays, guests can expect a “midnight mystery” to spice up the night. On the first Thursday of each new zodiac month, not only will new zodiac drink specials hit the menu but those of the month’s sign can receive a free tarot reading and chalice.