Drink Deals: $5 glass of wine, $5 Beer & Shot combos
Food Deals: $5 small bites
Drink Up: The drinks, food, & service is outstanding. The 90s jams are nice addition, too!
Spill the Wine: The crowd doesn’t get bumping until after Happy Hour.
Chicago's Wicker Park recently got a new bar on the block named FAME. Ever since I learned of the new bar (with a Happy Hour!), I couldn't wait to check it out. While some people like to wait until a bar or restaurant has had time to work out any kinks, I prefer to check out new places soon after their opening. Like a good first date, everyone is usually on their best behavior and eager to please.
Sure enough, FAME did not disappoint!
FAME stands for:
F - Food
A - Art
M - Mixology
E - Experience
Starting with food, FAME's Happy Hour offers $5 small plates. Arriving right at its 5pm opening, I was ready for dinner and ordered the flatbread gyro pizza while I waited for a friend to join me. The flatbread pizza is essentially an opened faced gyro sandwich, just not as messy. It's served on toasted pita bread which makes it sturdier than the average gyro sandwich. I wolfed down the pizza so fast that I was a little embarrassed, but hey, it was that good! Other $5 bites offered are include grilled cheese, ramen noodles, and chicken pineapple flatbread pizza.
|Flatbread Gyro Pizza ($5)|
The art in FAME definitely gives off a "this is a hip place to be" vibe without coming off pretentious, the only thing I was worried about prior to my visit. I don't do hipsters. FAME is a nice space with high ceilings, murals painted on the walls and hanging works of art. There are a few original pieces, along with some pop culture inspired pieces such as Jimi Hendrix lyrics beautifully painted in a foreign language. If art is really your thing, the pieces are also available for purchase for a pretty penny.
|JG working a fashion piece of art - Peter Pilotto for Target|
Rockstars not only inspire some of the art, but they also inspire the mixology menu. With drinks named The 27 Club, Almost Famous, and Smooth Operator it makes me want to go cruising with the windows down, music up, listening to the best of the 70s & 80s, sans drink of course. Unfortunately, the cool cocktails are not on the Happy Hour menu, but they are totally worth the $11 price. After a $5 glass of house cabaret, I ordered the Doppleganger cocktail, made with Tito's vodka, strawberries, basil, balsamic, lime & honey. Any long time Happy Hour Tour readers know that I just love a cocktail with fresh strawberries and the Doppleganger is another one to add to the list - thanks to that fresh basil and balsamic mix! If you're just sticking to Happy Hour, there are also $5 glasses of white wine and beer & shot combos.
|The Doppleganger cocktail ($11)|
Tito's vodka, strawberries, basil, balsamic, lime & honey
Overall, my experience at FAME was a great one! In addition to the 70s & 80s inspired drinks and music playing, FAME also played one of my favorite genres - 90s hip hop! When my friend Stephanie & I weren't busy sharing crazy dating stories for her project So This One Guy, we chatted with FAME’s Events & Marketing Coordinator, Hakim. We talked about our favorite cocktails and things we look for when we go to new bars. My answer? Cocktail samples! When a place is known for mixology, I'm always eager to try the drinks, but I don't want to shell out over $10 per drinks just for a taste. I’d really love if places did cocktail flights, like they do with beer and wine. So far, Houlihan’s is the only place I know to do so. Hakim took note and later gave me sample of hip hop 90s named, Rum-p Shaker, a rum cocktail mixed with orange zest, sage, and ginger beer float! The Rum-p Shaker is a nice crisp cocktail that was a welcome alternative to the usually too sweet rum cocktails at most places.
|Rum-p Shaker cocktail ($11)|
Rum cocktail mixed with orange zest, sage, and ginger beer float
If FAME keeps up the great cocktails and service, the paparazzi may be stalking this place in no time!
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
2015 W. Division
Chicago, IL 60622