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The Heavy Feather: Chicago Gets Its First New-School Fern Bar

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Jul 2, 2015 3:15PM

The new-school fern bar trend has come on the coattails of the tiki renaissance, bringing with it new bars that look like something out of the '70s or '80s. That means wood panelled walls, fake Tiffany lamps and hanging ferns— the aesthetic that influenced the style of chains like Ruby Tuesday. Chicago hasn't seen much of the trend until now, when Slippery Slope (2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.) opens up its second floor as The Heavy Feather today, Thursday July 2.

The new-school fern bars have more self-conscious style and the drinks, while influenced by the cocktails of the '70s and '80s like Mudslides and Harvey Wallbangers, are less cloying and made with higher-quality ingredients. Check out the menu below:

Casino - Oolong infused Death’s Door Vodka, Brovo Boomerang, Sparkling Wine, Orange Bitters, Lemon.
Tony Negroni - Scofflaw Old Tom Gin, Beefeater Gin, Cocchi Di Torino, Campari, Creme De Noyaux.
Plum Gin Fizz - Averall Dampson Gin, Letherbee Gin, Cynar, Lemon, Egg White.
Polished Nail - Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky, Ramazzotti Amaro, Drambuie, Dry Vermouth.
Amaretto Sour - Old Grandad, 114 Bourbon, Lazzaroni Amaretto, Egg White, Lemon.
Freddy Fuddpucker - El Corazon Tequila, El Peleton Mezcal, Galliano, Habanero Honey, Orange, Mole Bitters.
Papagiorgio - Old Forester Signature Bourbon, Lucky Falernum, Banana Liqueur, Ginger, Lemon.

Grasshopper - Ice Cream, Hennessy VS Cognac, Creme De Menthe, Creme De Cacao.
Shark Attack - El Dorado Three Year Rum, Smith & Cross Rum, Koloa Dark Rum, Raspberry, Pineapple, Coconut.

Some classics: ($10)
Old Fashioned - Old Grand Dad Bonded, Demerara Syrup, House Bitters.
Side Car - Maison Rouge VSOP Cognac, Marie Brizard Orange, Lemon.
Singapore Sling - Beefeater Gin, Cherry Heering, Benedictine, Pineapple, Lime, Angostura Bitters.
Manhattan - High West Rye Whiskey, Dolin Rouge, House Bitters.

Ice Cold Beers:
Boddington’s Pub Ale ($8)
Anchor Steam ($5)
Mexicali Original ($4)
Stroh’s ($3)
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis ($6)

A real old-school Fern Bar, Eddie Rickenbacker's bar in San Francisco (Krista/CC)