...this year ownership at Wrigleyville sports bar Graystone Tavern saw an opportunity to offer a different kind of celebration. Co-owners Kyle Bagley and Sam Stone plan to launch what appears to be Chicago’s first Hanukkah bar pop-up, “8 Crazy Nights,” which will run through the entire month of December. Though neither is Jewish, Bagley and Stone said they saw a void in the neighborhood’s seasonal offerings and consulted their Jewish friends for suggestions.
“We like to think of ourselves as trailblazers, and the fact that we can do something unique was really appealing to us,” said Bagley.
The pair plan to offer a selection of Eastern European Jewish classics, such as matzo ball soup,latkes (fried potato pancakes), and a brisket platter, as well as a challah grilled cheese and sufganiyot —deep fried doughnuts with vodka-infused jelly. Oil plays a central role in the Hanukkah story of Jewish resistance against King Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 BCE, so fried foods are common on holiday tables.
They’ve also dreamed up a selection of playful Hanukkah-themed cocktails, including a “Manischewitz Spritzer” (Manischewitz, Koval cranberry, Mionetto prosecco, club soda, orange slice), a “Gelt Martini” (Wheatley vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, chocolate syrup, Hanukkah gelt — chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil), and a 48-ounce Manischewitz sangria bowl for groups.
My half Jewish side is very excited about this! '8 Crazy Nights' opens December 1st and will go through New Year's Eve. Graystone Tavern is located at 3441 North Sheffield Ave.