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River North

Pops for Champagne, 601 N State St., is honoring its 40th Anniversary in Chicago this September. To celebrate, Pops is offering guests a rotating $40 pour of champagne, not typically served by the glass, such as 2006 Pierre Moncuit Cuvée Elizabeth, 2008 Pierre Paillard La Grande Récolte, and 2013 Vintage Louis Roederer, throughout the year, as well as reopening their underground speakeasy, Watershed.

“We couldn’t be prouder to celebrate 40 years in Chicago with our team and loyal patrons. Our goal has always been to create an inviting, approachable space, and this achievement has solidified the storied history of Pops,” said Craig Garofalo, co-owner of Pops for Champagne. “Throughout the decades, Pops has become not only a destination for celebration but a space dedicated to exposing and educating our patrons on new and unique beverage experiences. With Pops, and the reopening of Watershed this year, we’re happy to continue to provide an escape in the heart of the city.”

In 2018, Craig Garofalo and Andy Poch, both Chicago hospitality industry veterans, acquired Pops for Champagne and Watershed. Originally opened in 1982 in Lakeview, Pops for Champagne moved to the River North neighborhood in 2004. Over the years, Pops has expanded the champagne menu to offer a larger, more concentrated selection, aiming to represent smaller producers from the Champagne region of France. Today, the bars offers over 100 different champagne selections and introduces new selections on a weekly basis. Pops also offers sparkling, craft, and spirit-free cocktails, wine, beer, and a delectable bar snacks menu, from East Coast Oysters and Cheese & Charcuterie to Shishito Peppers and a Trio of Macarons.

The reimagined Watershed will introduce a ‘seasonal’ cocktail menu where every season focuses on a different television show, paying homage to the meaning of “watershed” in broadcasting, which is the time of day after which programming aimed towards mature or adult audiences is permitted. Watershed Beverage Director, Logan Brown, has created the new menu, kicking off “Season 1” with cocktails inspired by the show, Community. The menu includes Episode 2: Advanced Safety Features (0% ABV) with Blackberry, Wine, and Lemon; Episode 12: Social Psychology (27% ABV) a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Espresso Martini made with Vodka, Coffee, Cereal, and Oat Milk, and Episode 9: Remedial Chaos Theory (28% ABV) with Pepperoni Combos, Malort, Thyme, Tomato, Vinegar, Bitter, and Port. Watershed will also serve beer, wine, and liquor from all over the world. Every cocktail, beer, and wine will list its ABV so guests can decide to order anything from non-alcoholic to overproof drinks to suit whatever their mood or preference is.


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