CONCEPT & DESIGN

One of Chicago’s unrivaled speakeasies, Bordel is a cocktail bar and cabaret that effortlessly channels the hospitality, revelry and sultry energy of Paris’ Pigalle and Montmartre in the heart of Wicker Park. 

 

Through the hidden door and up the leopard-print stairs, you will find yourself inside Bordel’s sumptuous candlelit interiors, appointed with pink velvet sofas and curtains, tasseled chandeliers, vintage bronze “cherub” sconces, Persian Bokhara rugs and walls covered in custom, handcrafted wallpaper inspired by 20th century American pulp cover artistry.

 

Bordel's weekly stage entertainment offers a theater of varieties with a rotating cast of jazz musicians, burlesque performers, flamenco artists, magicians, cabaret dancers, and comedians. In between stage performances, a rotating residency of Chicago’s premier sound curators set the beat throughout the night.

This season, Bordel pays homage to our neighborhood's past. Cocktails on this menu are inspired by the novel THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Nelson Algren, 1949) that showed the world the beauty and flaws of our neighborhood and city. It’s a town that the author Nelson Algren rightly described as, "an October sort of city even in the spring."

 

All cocktails are made to order and draw inspiration from the last golden age of cocktails, with exotic garnishes that follow a no-waste sensibility utilizing ingredients found in the cocktails they adorn.  The cocktail list is comprised of perfectly executed classics combined with house cocktails made in a "classic style."  The list includes punches, aperitif cocktails, swizzles, "strong but not silent" stirred cocktails and "shaky, shaky" cocktails with citrus.  

 

A bastion of our menus has always been Punch, presented in Royal Albert “hidden-in-plain-sight” tea sets and handblown glass Porrones from Spain.  We love celebrating with Punch, as the first "mixed" drink, Punch was a staple of high society; where there was a party there was Punch and vice versa.  It found its way to the US, and in our own way, we made it democratic: we turned a shared drink for the wealthy into a single-serving cocktail for everyman.  As a cocktail bar influenced by the Bohemian Cabarets of Europe and the speakeasies of the States, it was natural to celebrate not only the current cocktail culture, but also the classic Punches of Europe.  And as before, where there is Punch, there will be a party.  

 

When your downstairs neighbor is one of the city’s best Spanish restaurants – MAMA DELIA, a Restaurant, Sherry Bar, and Ultramarino offering a fresh take on what is happening in Spain right now – late-night dining gets a major upgrade at Bordel.  An abbreviated selection of dishes from Mama Delia is available all night at Bordel.