Chicago's New 'Big Lebowski'-Themed Bar Really Ties the Room Together
It has three different kinds of White Russians, man.
Photos by Liz Peterson courtesy of the Rookery
Look, you’ll go to Iceland at some point, because everyone goes to Iceland at some point. You might be there right now, eating a lamb hotdog and reading this on an unsecured wifi network called “Ólafsdóttir.” But when you’re in Reykjavik, you’ll walk the full length of Laugavegur, and just before you get to the 66 North store, you’ll do a double-take when you see the flash of neon. You’ll notice the awning covered in illustrated bowling pins, and realize that yeah, those neon letters do say “Lebowski Bar.”
This joint is completely dedicated (or DUDE-ICATED... oh god I’m sorry) to The Big Lebowski, the now 20-year-old Coen Brothers flick that your ex still quotes on the reg. It’s also one of a now half-dozen bars and restaurants around the world themed after the movie and its titular character, Jeffrey Lebowski. And the other Jeffrey Lebowski.
Now Chicago can add The Dude’s Abode to a list that includes the Lebowski Bar in Reykjavik, the Lebowski Bar in Dresden, and the Lebowski’s in Edinburgh and Glasgow—at least temporarily.
The Dude’s Abode pop-up opens on Friday, and it has a lotta ins, a lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous, all thanks to the folks at The Rookery. (Yes, they were also responsible for this spring’s gloriously witchy Fleetwood Mac pop-up) And don’t worry whether you’ve seen Lebowski or not: thanks to GIFs, YouTube videos, and all of those infinitely repeated quotes, you’ll get the references. (If by some chance, you’re unfamiliar with the Dude, Walter Sobchak, or with Donny, then just drink a beverage and shut the fu– uh, just chill, man).
There’s nothing we hate more than haphazardly named cocktails, but The Dude’s Abode has carefully chosen the ingredients in each beverage, perfectly matching each drink with a character. In addition to three White Russians, natch, the bar will be serving the Shut The F*ck Up, Donny (Three Sheets Barrel Aged Rum, curaçao, falernum, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura bitters, Folgers instant coffee); the Bunny’s Toe (Peach Brandy, Champagne, Peychaud’s bitters, and a gummy toe, complete with deep green toenail!); a purple-hued Nobody F*cks With The Jesus (Aguardiente, Blanc Vermouth, creme de violette, Amaro Meletti, orange bitters, Butterfly Pea Flower extract); and The World of Pain (with the always nasty Malört, Aperol, Beefeater Gin, orange Juice, and Angostura bitters).
The Dude’s Abode will be open every Wednesday through Saturday (yeah, they roll on Shabbos) from December 21 through mid-February. Wear your finest Pendleton sweater, put your Ralph’s Value Club Card in your wallet, and leave all of your Eagles tapes at home. They hate the fucking Eagles, man.