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Limited Time Only River West

Black Lagoon, a pop-up bar debuting in nine US cities this October, is hosting a little horror along with its cocktails this Halloween season. In Chicago, that location is The Dandy Crown, located in River West at 694 North Milwaukee. Black Lagoon is the brainchild of two industry veterans: Erin Hayes (Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles and Chicago's Lost Lake) and Kelsey Ramage (Trash Collective and Toronto’s soon-to-open Supernova). It offers an immersive, creepy-as-hell experience that pays homage to the macabre and throws a splash of goth and metal for good measure.

The duo ideated their concept after running a pop-up at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans’ Dungeon Bar. The first installment of Black Lagoon took over a bar in Toronto in October 2021. Black Lagoon was recently named Canada’s Best Pop-Up Bar by Canada’s 100 Best and is set to be introduced in the states this year.

The drinks are brimming with dark Halloween hues, and a few cocktails will be served in custom glassware. Drinks with names such as Screaming Banshee (Botanist Gin, Giffard L’Abricot, pineapple syrup, Greek yogurt), Lilith’s Cup (Mount Gay Black Barrel, Aperol, vermouth, passionfruit syrup, glitter), Closed Casket (Bruichladdich Classic, St. Remy, Giffard L’Abricot, passionfruit syrup, miso falernum) and Hellraiser (Hornitos, Chairman's Spiced Rum, Cointreau, spiced oat, orgeat).

“We chose our roster of cities carefully,” says Hayes. “Each city has a robust cocktail culture, so guests expect quality drinks. We also wanted markets with vibrant countercultures, so patrons likely to enjoy our immersive vibe will come and feel right at home.” Black Lagoon will set up shop at The Dandy Crown in partnership with Hospitality 201 (Chicago), Hey Love (Portland), Lost Property Bar (Los Angeles), Nickel City (Dallas/Fort Worth), Yacht Club (Denver), and Our Wicked Lady (New York City). In Canada, 132 Bar Vintage (Montreal), Butcher & Bullock (Vancouver), and Third Space (Toronto) will host.

At The Dandy Crown in Chicago, there will also be thematic food options to accompany the Black Lagoon beverages. Executive Chef Mark Hill has designed a new menu for October to include dishes such as Sacrificial Lamb (pictured), a lamb tartare, Screaming Eyeballs, bites of spicy kimchi chicken meatballs, and more.

Black Lagoon will debut at The Dandy Crown on October 3 and run through Halloween.


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