Smuggler's Cove Book Signing!

On September 6th, our friends (who happen to be amazing authors) Martin Cate and Rebecca Cate brought their brand new book, Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki, to Lost Lake!

Martin + Rebecca are the founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove, the most acclaimed tiki bar of the modern era and the newly minted winners of Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Award for Best American Cocktail Bar! Needless to say, we were pretty excited to have them at Lost Lake.

And, BONUS: our buds at Plantation Rum made sure that we got a few advance cases of the yet-to-be-released O.F.T.D., which both Martin and our own Paul McGee helped create!

Thanks for hanging out with us, Martin + Rebecca!

ysys

 

¿Qué bola, NOLA?

Don your daisy dukes and a Daisy de Santiago, float in the pool while splashin’ in a daiquiri, cool your coconuts on a Tic Tac Taxi, sip a Mojito the Sloppy Joe’s way — that's the way Lost Lake and The 86 Co. throw a pool party!

During this year's Tales of the Cocktail, our BFFs from The 86 Co.'s Caña Brava Rum invited us to hang with them at the spankin' new Ace Hotel New Orleans! We brought a crew down to the cutest rooftop pool in Crescent City and mixed up some Lost Lake favorites and a few classic Cuban recipes, too.

Photos by the fantastic Angelina Melody. Follow her on Instagram!

Thank you!

During the three weeks that Lost Lake was closed following a fire at our sister restaurant Thank You, our team has been embraced and lifted up by our community of fellow bartenders, bar owners, chefs, restaurants, brands, ambassadors, brewers, distillers, cocktail lovers and beloved regulars. We have been shown what true hospitality feels like. The thanks we have is immeasurable, and each gesture — every message of kind words, every generous offer of help, every kindness shown to our displaced staff members — means more to these Lost Lakers than you all can know.

Thank you to the friends and bars that hosted our Lost Lake bar team for pop-ups: Bar DeVille, Broken Shaker, OSB at Longman & Eagle, Sportsman’s Club, and Thunderbird in Indianapolis. Brad Bolt, Elad Zvi, Gabe Orta, Graham Heubach, Jeff Donahue, Jeff Wilson, Jessica Chasin, Josh Gonzalez, Meghan Konecny, Phil Columbo, Phil Olsen, Scotty LoBianco, and Wade McElroy — you immediately reached out to us, knowing that our tipped employees needed venues in which they could keep generating tips, and offered us your bars and your support. We felt the embrace of true hospitality.

Thank you to the companies that donated products to our pop-ups: 86 Company, Appleton Rums, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Angostura Rums, Atlantico Rums, Aviation Gin, BC Merchants, Beam Suntory, Bond & Royal, Campari USA, Del Maguey, Diageo USA, Haus Alpenz, Heaven Hill, House of Agricole, Letherbee Distillers, Lustau Sherry, Mariano’s, Marz Community Brewing, Off Color Brewing, Parce Rum, Pierre Ferrand, Plantation Rums, Tenzing, Tromba Tequila, and Zacapa Rum.

Thank you to the brand representatives, distributor folks, brewers, and distillers that coordinated donations: Alex Straus at Cornerstone, Amanda Puck at Mariano’s, Ben Jones at House of Agricole, Brent Engel at Letherbee, Brooke Arthur at Aviation Gin, Chiyo Takemoto at Winebow, Chris Tabor at Heaven Hill, Christophe Bakunas at Cream Wine + Spirits, Clayton Bradford at Off Color Brewing, Colby Turner at BC Merchants, Dejorn Huffman at Tenzing, Elizabeth Mickiewicz at House of Angostura, Kelsey Grandi at Angel’s Envy, Israel Fernandez of Zacapa Rum, Jake Parrot at Haus Alpenz, Jesse Maguire Bolt at Bond & Royal, Jessica Lambert at Lustau Sherry, Jim Powers at Parce Rum, Jimmy Sherry at Tromba Tequila, Kiowa Bryan at House of Agricole, Liz Pierce at Atlantico Rum, Lynnette Marrero at Zacapa Rum, Matt Obermark at Beam Suntory, Meghan Hurtuk at Del Maguey, Monique Huston at Winebow, Paul Sauter at Diageo, Rebecca Muscella at Campari USA, Sharon Bronstein at 86 Company, Tiki Diablo, Tim Lange at Marz Community Brewing, Victor Bouvier at Pierre Ferrand + Plantation Rums, and Uby Khawaja. The quick responses, flexibility, and generosity shown to our team allowed us to successfully execute five pop-ups in almost as many days, serving menus created with products we proudly pour at Lost Lake. We have always valued our relationships with you, but our gratitude is immeasurable now.

Thank you to our neighbors who offered shifts and kept our Lost Lakers working while we were closed: Billy Sunday, Cherry Circle Room, Fat Rice, Game Room, Moneygun, OSB at Longman & Eagle, Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Pub Royale, Queen Mary, The Drifter, and Yusho. You kept our displaced staff busy, productive, supported, and paid — not to mention gave them the opportunity to keep their skills sharpened and learn new service techniques. Those shifts even kept one Lost Laker’s wedding plans from being derailed!

Thank to the friends and bars that raised money for the Lost Lake tipped and hourly employees who lost shifts or had their pay disrupted: Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, Bar Institute Baltimore, Brittany Leach, Brittany Olsen, Chris Day, Civil Liberties in Toronto, Dan Sabo, Donna Cocktail Club in Brooklyn, Elyse Blechman, EP/LP in Los Angeles, Eveleigh in Los Angeles, Evelyn Chick, General Lee’s in Los Angeles, Herbs & Rye in Las Vegas, Jake Varta, Jess Slevin, Justin Elliot, Karen Grill, Kinson Lau, Lindsey Johnson, Lush Life Productions, Madelyn Kay, Maura McGuigan, Nikolai Kennedy, Robin Goodfellow, Sarah Parniak, Shane Mulvany, Spare Room in Hollywood, The Townsend in Austin, Travis Tober, and Yael Vengroff. The funds you raised and the support you showed allowed life for our team to continue with as little disruption as possible.

Thank you to the bars and friends that offered to have us in for pop-ups: Antique Taco, Anne Owen at Owen + Alchemy, Brian Peterson at Chop Shop + 1st Ward, Cesar Diaz at Odd Birds, Clint Rogers at The Dawson, Charlie Schott at Parson’s, Colleen Healy at Watershed, Chris Pappas at The Winchester, Christanna DeLucca at Clark Street Ale House, Eden Laurin at Violet Hour, Ezra Star at Drink, Hank Prendergast + Robby Haynes at Analogue, Jade Tulak at Lula Cafe, Jeremy Johnson at Meta, Josh Mazza at Seamstress, Kate Gerwin, Kristin Wolfel at The Charleston, Matt Eisler at Heisler Hospitality, Matty Eggleston at Nico, Nigel Ridgeway at Son of a Butcher, Owen Thompson, Pam Wiznitzer at Seamstress, Pat Lutz at Imperial Lamian, Peter Vestinos at Sparrow, Priscilla Young at Travelle, Ran Duan, Roger Landes at MFK, Scott Worsham at mfk, Steva Casey at The Saturn Room, and Sujal Patel at Hungry Brain. Knowing that Lost Lake belongs to a community that includes business owners, bartenders, and chefs like you is inspiring.

Thank you to everyone who made donations. Every penny went directly to our staff and helped keep their lights + phones on, and quite literally fed a few families: 28 HKS, A Reel Cook, Aaron Martinson, Aaron Polsky, Aaron Post, Aaron Supianoski, Adam Kolesar, Adam Stemmler, Adrienne Miller, Alex Barbatsis, Alex Bonner, Alex Gregg, Alex Kratena, Alex Negranza, Alex Straus, Alicia Walton, Allie Kim, Allison Lancaster, Alyse Martinez, Amanda Carto, Amanda Maida, Amanda Watson, Amy Waddill, Andreas Pejovic, Andrew Grenz, Angus Winchester, Ann Tuennerman, Anne Marineau, Anthony Bohlinger, Anthony Selna, Antoine Nixon, April Makar, Ash Kane, Austin Foster, Autumn Giltner, AZ Bitters Lab, Ben Chappell, Blake Coleman, Boris Volkov, Brege Shinn, Brett Esler, Brian Fisher, Brian Stewart, Brit Schulte, Brittany Ashley, Brooke Arthur, Caitlin Davis, Caitlin Pfeiffer, Cameron Shaw, Cari Hah, Carley Dunavant, Carlos Cuarta, Caroline Roe, Chad George, Chelsea Thomas, Cheri Jones, Chris Burque, Chris Fierro, Chris Hannah, Chris Manis, Chris Sinclair, Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White, Christine Whiteley, Christopher Ciesiel, Christopher Ward, Chuck Rivera, Claire Bertin-Lang, Clark Miller, Conor Hall, Crystal Chasse, Curt Carrillo, Curtis Ruptash, Damn Roseberry, Dan Sabo, Daniel de Oliveira, Daniel Djang, Daniel Firestone, Daniel Spomer, Darci Detorie, Dave Andrews, Dave Flynn, David Martinez, David Michalowski, David Montgomery, David Wondrich, Debbi Peek, Demi Natoli, “Dennis Rodman,” Dexter Wallis, Diane Mulligan, Dick Doody, Dirty Sue, Dom John, Drew Garison, Drew Record, Dutch DeVries, Elisa Farrell, Elliot Clark, Elyse Smith, Eric Seed, Eric Witz, Ezra Star, Firehouse Lounge, Frank Nosalek, Fred Comes, Freddie Joseph, Freddie Sarkis, Freddy Schwenk, Frederico Hernandez, Gina & John Fossitt, Ginger Parker, Greg Burnett, Gwendolyn Goetz, Hal Brock, Hal Jordan, Hannah Burque, Herman Newby, Hermon Mehari, Hillary & Gui Jaroschy, Houston Eaves, Humuhumu Trott, Ingrid Rodriguez, Ivy Mix, J.D., Jabriel Donohue, Jacyara Oliveira, James Caronna, Jeff & Kat Cleveland, Jeff Seymour, Jen Clark, Jen Marshall, Jenn Tosatto, Jennifer Stockert, Jerald O’Kennard, Jeramy Campbell, Jess Kenne, Jesse Ross, Jesse Vida, Jim Romdall, Joe Borgese, John Cox, Josh Gates, Josh Ibanez, Josh Miller, Joshua Martinez, Joy Herrin, Julie Figueras, Justin Anderson, Juyoung Kang, Kam Mataraci, Karl Holbert, Karlo Pentic, Kate Gerwin, Kate Kelly, Katie Astrauskas, Katie Urcioli and Matt Bauder, Kelley Morgan, Kelly Galassi, Kelly Wooldridge, Kevin Bragg, Khrys Maxwell, Kim Rossell, Kimberly Patton-Bragg, Kristian Piedra, Kurt Rogers, Lacy Hawkins, Larry Rice, Laura Fahrner, Laura Lynch, Lauren Mote, Leah Schoenburg, Lee Edwards, Lei Low, Lei Patrick, Leonardo Leuci, Leslie Cofresi, Leslie Maxwell, Lindsay Rae, Lisa Korpan, Lisa Pugliese, Lisa White, Luis Nunez, Maggie Meskey, Marievic Parra, Marlene Cross, Martin Cate, Mary Palac, Matt DeVriendt, Mavenhall, Max Goldberg, Mea Leech, Meg Bell, Megan Cross, Meghan Keever, Melissa Watson, Michael Banker, Michael Gebert, Michael Page, Michael Zielinski, Michaud Raymond, Michelle Hoff, Michelle Szot, Mixwell, Mohammad Babaki, Molly Marcucci and Timmy Watson, Mony Bunni, Myle Worrell, Navid Naylor, Nayelli Jimenez, Nick Britsky, Nick Rossi, Nick Settle, Nicole & John Manion, Nicole La Rae, Pam Wiznitzer, Pamela J Stalings, Patrick Halloran, Paul Johnsen, Peter Johnson, Peter Klein, Peter Lloyd Jones, Phil Mauro, Philippe Andre, Phillip Smith, Pito Rodriquez, Ramon & Shannon Romo, Randy Elskamp, Rebecca Monday, Ren Brown, Rhachel Shaw, Ria Soler, Rich Bailey, Richard Oneslager, Rob Christopher, Robert Smith, Robin Nance, Ross Simon, Ryan Brown, Ryan Hall, Sam Lyden, Sara Gelbert, Sara Hollabaugh, Sarah Alokones, Sarah Mark, Scott & Susan Kelly, Scott Koehl, Sean Saunders, Shane & Shaleen Mulvany, Shannon Currin, Shanya Polowczak, Shari Dodd, Shaun Traxler, Shel Bourdon, Simon Ford, Sly Augustin, Sole Agent, St John Frizell, Stanzi Harris, Stefan Huebner, Steva Casy, Steve & Reece Raney, Steve G, Steve Schneider, Steven Liles, Stuart Jensen, Tamara Rose, Tashia Nobles, Ted Tamburo, Teresa Aguilera, Terry Williams, Tess Sawyer, The Hukilau, Tim Bradstreet, Tim Miner, Tim Walters, Timothy Watson, Tin Roof, Tina Ross, Todd Francis, Todd Richman, Travis Tidwell, Trey Jenkins, Two Tone Tiki, Ty Caudle, Tyler McPheeters, USBG Orlando, Velia Cox, Whiteblackred, Wilks & Wilson, Zachary Snyder, Zoe Hayes, Zulcoralis Rodriguez, and the numerous anonymous donors.  

Very special thanks goes to Kiowa Bryan. Your support has been more impactful than you can imagine.

And last, but most definitely not least, thank you to the Chicago Fire Department. Thank you for putting out a fire that would have been much worse had you not arrived so quickly, and thank you for keeping everyone safe. Lost Lake loves you and is eternally grateful.

Houston's Anvil Drops on Lost Lake!

A few weeks ago, the Lost Lake bar team had the opportunity to visit a handful of distilleries on the rhum agricole-producing island of Martinique. While we were away, our good friend Bobby Heugel of Houston's Anvil Bar + Refuge came to town to throw a week-long Texas Tiki Disco party!

Some of you may wonder — disco? And...tiki? Like mods and rockers, aren't disco and tiki mortal enemies?

It is true that the popular tiki temples that inspired Lost Lake met their downfall in the 1970s at the onset of disco culture. The pillars of the original tiki movement — laid-back vibes and quality, handcrafted cocktails — could not coexist with the demand for super speedy service, dance floors, bell bottoms, and drugs. Bobby and his team took the reigns at Lost Lake for a week-long exploration of what might have been. Our guests were able to join in the experiment as the Anvil crew exercised the booze-fueled conspiracy theory that tiki and disco are not opposing cosmic forces, and could indeed exist in a spectacular rum-soaked harmony!

Channeling the tiki-disco hybrids that exist in Caribbean discotheques outside the U.S., with their special, one-week-only menu, Anvil Bar + Refuge presented an alternative reality in which they envisioned a United States of Tiki and Disco. Texas Tiki Disco-goers enjoyed tropical takes on classic cocktails, sharable punch bowls with a Houston edge, and even a few of Heugel’s famed “Break Even Bottles,’ all served under a spinning disco ball and alongside the music of Donna and Dolly. 

And that was the Texas Tiki Disco — which despite all attempts to verbosely justify the idea, turned out to be an admittedly absurd proposition. Nevertheless, it was a collision of beloved bar cultures so absurd, it will never be duplicated or forgotten!

Thank you to you, our everyday guests, for being game to this wildness, and thank you to Anvil Bar + Refuge for throwing such an amazing party! 

Photos by Clayton Hauck.

Texas Tiki Disco Week

Paul McGee and his team at Lost Lake are excited to welcome Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge to Chicago from February 28 – March 4. Anvil, one of Houston’s most celebrated cocktail bars, will be taking over Lost Lake for a weeklong pop-up while McGee & co are on a research trip to Martinique.

When Anvil Bar & Refuge opened in 2009, it was Houston’s first bar devoted to classic cocktails. Building a program with equal focus on utilizing quality spirits and serving locals, Anvil quickly gained popularity among Houstonians and garnered national acclaim.

For Anvil’s foray into the Chicago cocktail landscape, Heugel is delving into the annals of US bar history to inform the concept.

The popular tiki temples that inspired Lost Lake met their downfall in the 1970s through the onset of disco culture. The laid-back vibe and the quality, handcrafted drinks that are pillars of tiki couldn’t coexist with the demand for super speedy service, live music and dance floors. Heugel and his team will explore a booze-fueled conspiracy theory that tiki and disco are not opposing cosmic forces, and can, in fact, spectacularly co-exist.

Channeling the tiki-disco hybrids that exist in Caribbean discotheques outside the US, Anvil Bar & Refuge will present an alternative reality in which they envision what would have happened if tiki and disco had merged here in the United States. Expect tropical takes on classic cocktails, sharable punch bowls with a Houston edge, and much more. Heugel will also be bringing his popular ‘Break Even” program up from Texas, which allows guests to have a one ounce pour of an extremely high end spirit at cost, in the spirit of thanking guests and continuing cocktail education.

Thank You, the American-Chinese takeout counter located next to and serving Lost Lake, will also be joining in on the retro callbacks with an opulent menu inspired by classic 1970s dinner party snacks. Expect shrimp cocktail, pigs in a blanket, deviled eggs, and more from Executive Chefs Jennifer Jackson and Justin Tootla.

Lost Lake x Joe Kraft

We here at Lost Lake are so happy n' proud to brag all day long about our first custom mug: a bright turquoise rum barrel (of course)! 

It was created by Joseph Kraft — an artist working out of a Lillstreet Art Center studio in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood. Joe primarily works in clay, making both functional ware and sculptural scenarios, where composition and the placement of parts are of the upmost importance to his visual vocabulary.

"Having the opportunity to work with Lost Lake has been a joy. I used mold making and slip casting to creating the barrels. I first made a clay prototype from a digital drawing put together by the Land & Sea Dept. I then made a mold from that so I could produce multiples of the same barrel. Each barrel is slip casted and painted with a bright color that goes with the theme of Lost Lake."

Joe created just 30 mugs for this first round, which are available on our webstore or at the bar. 

"We read it for the articles (about tiki bars)."

Playboy's annual list of the country's best new bars is on stands now, and we're so happy to be included! Plus our parents are super proud.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD HANGOUT (THAT HAPPENS TO BE A TIKI BAR)
Lost Lake, Chicago
Three Dots and a Dash mastermind Paul McGee strikes gold with this tropical hideaway. His imaginative creations include the hula hips of heaven (tequila, mezcal, grapefruit, lime, velvet falernum, cinnamon, Angostura bitters, absinthe), paired with Chinese sausage–pineapple fried rice from the bar’s adjacent eatery.

S.S. Lost Lake!

A cruise ship set sail one warm October evening in 1978 with nothing but good intentions — however, much like the Titanic, more attention was paid to the party than technical proficiency. The SS Lost Lake went down, but her beloved, cessy crew will forever haunt the watery remains of that hot bitch of a ship.

Join us this Halloween for cocktails and dancing in the Freak Cave in your disco dinner show finest! We'll bring the disco and the boat drinks, you bring the blue lips and the life jackets.

New! New! New!

We have a brand new cocktail menu! And just like a real baby, it took almost nine months to come into this world — but have you ever seen anything more beautiful? We didn't think so...

Best New Restaurants in Chicago!

We're very proud of Chefs Jennifer and Justin for steering Thank You. right onto Conde Naste Traveler's list of Best New Restaurants in Chicago!

"Two CIA grads staff the kitchen at this Chinese take-out counter serving classic dishes like General Tso’s chicken, egg rolls, and chow fun—and, after midnight, Spam musubi, the Hawaiian mashup of canned meat and sushi rice. There’s no seating here, but they also do bar service at the Honolulu meets Logan Square tiki bar Lost Lake, located next door."

Battle Royale!

Our BFFs at Yusho invited Thank You. to have a little battle of the broth with our Land and Sea Dept. siblings Parson's Chicken and Fish — and in a thrilling 'LAND V. SEA' edition of Ramen Battle, Chefs Jenn + Justin squeaked out a victory with their beef-based broth, crispy pork tendon, charred tomato, radish, and brûléed egg yolk!

Paul also lent a hand in the beverage department, serving his classic Don't Touch My Bikini recipe, making sure there was plenty of coconut on hand to balance out all that spicy soup.

Congratulations, Pickle + Chub! (And thanks for the Instagram shots, @john.dixon!)

Buttercream Luau!

When your crush invites you over to hang out at their backyard barbecue, you don't hesitate to say yes. (Or bring a bunch of tiki drinks with you to impress their friends.) 

Well, anyway, that's what we did when Butterfat Studios asked us to lend a hand with the libations at their first ever Buttercream Luau! Tropical tattoos meats bento snacks meets tiki drinks meets the perfect summer weather? It was magical.

We had just enough to give everyone four cocktails, so we did some inking of our own to keep track of everyone's progress — that's where the T-I-K-I (and one H-U-L-A) comes into play.

Thanks for having us, Esther + co.!

Lost Lake goes to Hollywood!

Our friend — and Bon Vivant — Alex Straus had us out to California so we could help kick off his Takeover Series at Frankie's Private Bar, that real cute new spot on EP/LP's rooftop in Hollywood! We had such a good time that we forgot to snap any photos, so we'll let Instagram do the work for us. Thanks to everyone who came out and had a cocktail and took a photo!

Texas Tiki Week!

We recently spent a few sweltering summer afternoons down in Austin at the Hotel San Jose, slingin' tiki drinks to our Texan friends — and we loved every minute of it! 

Many millions of thanks to our fantastic sponsors: Plantation Rum, Caña Brava Rum, Rhum Clement, Rhum JM, Appleton Jamaican Rum, J. Wray + Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum, Campari, Tequila Cabeza, Ford’s Gin, and Chicago’s own Letherbee Absinthe! (Extra shout-out to Hotel San Jose for having a swimming pool and letting us dump ice in it.)

Texas Tiki Week!

Native Houstonian Paul McGee is returning to the Lone Star State for Texas Tiki Week, and he’s bringing his tiki bar Lost Lake with him!

On Wednesday and Thursday, August 5-6th, from 3-6pm, enjoy a tropical poolside happy hour at Hotel San Jose, where Paul, along with Lost Lake bar manager Erin Hayes and bartender Julia McKinley (formerly of Austin’s Hillside Pharmacy), will be swizzling up a menu of original Lost Lake cocktails featuring Plantation Rum, Caña Brava Rum, Rhum Clement, Rhum JM, Appleton Jamaican Rum, J. Wray + Nephew Overproof Jamaican Rum, Tequila Cabeza, Ford’s Gin, and Chicago’s own Letherbee Absinthe.

Send an email to rsvp@lostlaketiki.com to let us know you're coming!

 

Stock Mfg. Co. x Thank You.

One of the coolest things we were able to do when opening Thank You. was work with Stock Manufacturing Company to create custom aprons for the kitchen crew. Stock Mfg. Co., designers and manufacturers of some real handsome men's clothing + goods right here in Chicago, created aprons that are both beautifully simple and wildly functional — with features like a box-stitched utility strap and 5-compartment pocket, with dimensions perfectly optimized for cooking utensils.

Stock chose dry selvage denim from Cone Mills in North Carolina for it’s unique durability and aging properties (with heavy use, the aprons will take on the same patina as a pair of well-loved jeans) and sourced Japanese red twill tape apron ties in the exact shade as the Thank You. logo! 

Come by Thank You. to catch them in action!