double a: chic, hidden lounge expands hours, places handcrafted cocktails centerstage
(CHICAGO; March 1, 2010) - Chic, bespoke Double A, which quietly opened last November, has introduced a new cocktail and bottle service menu in addition to expanding its hours: Tuesday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. After 10 p.m., entry to Double A is via invitation-only. Requests may be made via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Led by the talented mixologist duo, Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay of Tippling Bros., Double A is an unmarked, intimate, 65-seat lounge located below Mercadito restaurant in Chicago's River North neighborhood. A massive wooden door-featuring a sliding square peephole-slowly swings open for guests to enter and step past Mercadito's offices into the exclusive lounge, where leading Chicago deejays spin nightly. Dark wood walls and small filament bulbs enclosed in steel mesh above create an intimate ambience, and the owners' private collection of nearly 50 bottles of rare, premium tequilas-many available only in Mexico-is displayed on shelves circling the space, backlit against smoky mirrors. Large, comfortable chocolate brown leather banquettes line the perimeter of the room, all facing Double A's centerpiece, the custom-designed freestanding, open bar, allowing guests to watch mixologists in action from all vantage points.
"We're able to interact with customers at their tables and mix drinks before their eyes," says Carducci. "It's a different and unexpected experience - everyone has a great time."
Double A's cocktail program offers variations of classic cocktails made with artisanal spirits, fresh fruits and herbs, and Kold-Draft ice cubes, often prepared with Japanese-crafted barware. The flavor profile of the cocktails is simple: big, bold and intense. From the "Caipisutra" with Leblon cachaça, pineapple, grapefruit, lime and garam masala to the "Kissyomama" with Cazadores reposado, mango ginger liqueur, Thai basil and habanero sauce, there's no mistaking a Double A cocktail.
The bottle service menu isn't a typical list either - rather than purchasing a bottle of liquor with a standard lineup of mixers, the Tippling Bros. offer a range of fresh preparations to be enjoyed with the guest's spirit of choice, such the "Smash & Dash" with mint, lemon, and angostura; "Kamicosmodaiquirita" with lime, agave and curaçao; or "Boggie Style" with grapefruit, cranberry and ginger. Additionally, a selection of superior Champagnes and wines are also available for patrons.