LOGAN SQUARE — One of Logan Square’s most beloved bars has reopened for the first time in 18 months.
Lost Lake, 3154 W. Diversey Ave., had a soft reopening last weekend, offering fresh food and drink menus and debuting a vibrant outdoor patio.
The popular tropical cocktail bar is open 5-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Reservations open one month in advance and can be made online on Resy. The bar takes walk-ins after 10 p.m. based on availability. All patrons must bring proof of vaccination, showing either their vaccine card or a photo of it.
For the reopening, the Lost Lake team is moving away from traditional tiki drinks and instead focusing on “tropically minded” rum cocktails, bar manager Shannon Grant said.
New cocktails include Music That Stays On for Extra Days with suze, Italian bitter aperitivo blend, Jagermeister, falernum, cinnamon, grapefruit, angostura bitters and absinthe; and the Kelp Daiquiri with kelp-infused guadeloupe rhum agricole, multi-island rum, fino sherry, kiwi, pineapple and lime. All cocktails are $18 unless otherwise noted.
“We’re exploring classics, new-to-us flavors (strawberry and kelp, to name a few), vermouths and sherries, and different ways to provide a vacation on a coaster,” Grant said in an email.
The new food menu draws influence from Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean. Before the pandemic shutdown, the bar mostly served snacks to pair with cocktails. Now, Lost Lake’s chefs are offering entrees and small plates, including everything from crinkle-cut fries ($7) to a strip steak ($32) and double-fried catfish ($23).
“We’re hoping guests start thinking of us as a dining destination with tropical drinks rather than just a bar,” co-executive chef Fred Noinaj said.
Food and drinks at Lost Lake can be enjoyed on the bar’s cozy, 12-seat patio. The Lost Lake crew converted the gangway in the back of the bar to create the space, adding a transparent roof and “lots and lots of plants,” spokeswoman Carrie Sloan said.
Patrons can reserve a table by selecting “patio” on Resy. There’s also the option to reserve seats by the bar’s windows inside by choosing “window table” on Resy.
Another big change at Lost Lake is increased prices and no tipping, which enables leaders to pay every employee a living wage and offer them “substantially subsidized” health care plans. Lost Lake is the latest bar or restaurant in Chicago to adopt the policy.
Devotees who usually tipped the industry standard 20 percent won’t notice an increase in their final bill, Sloan said.
Lost Lake closed last March when the pandemic hit and the bars were ordered to close. As the pandemic went on and restrictions loosened, the award-winning bar sold to-go cocktails and launched a subscription box, but it remained closed for indoor and outdoor service.
The reopening is a step toward normalcy for the Lost Lake staff.
“We can’t wait to see you! Thank you for all the support over the last year and a half!” the bar’s team wrote on Instagram this week.
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