Jim Meehan, the acclaimed barman best known for his trailblazing work at New York City’s PDT, is opening a bar in Chicago. Eater Chicago reports that Meehan, whose James Beard Award-winning speakeasy spawned copycat cocktail dens across the country, is partnering with Chicago bar and restaurant group Heisler Hospitality to open Prairie School in Chicago’s Fulton Market this summer.
This will be Meehan’s first major project outside of New York. In 2014, the cocktail expert moved to Portland with his family, staying on as a partner at PDT. He popped up at some pop-ups, but a Meehan-led Portland project hasn’t happened yet. He has however, kept busy with a PDT book, published in 2011, and 400-recipe PDT app, launched in 2015.
Prairie School, which takes inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie-style architecture, will occupy half of a 9,000 square foot space on Chicago’s Fulton Market strip. Meehan, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, will be in good company — the area is filling up with major industry players, including Stephanie Izard’s Girl & the Goat, and the Alinea Group’s Roister, the Aviary, and Next.
Details on the cocktail program are few. According to a press release, the team will “push the envelope on everything from bar design to cocktails to hospitality.” Meehan, for his part, says the bar will allow him to “explore [his] roots as both an outsider and a native son.” Eater has reached out for more details; stay tuned.