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Chicago speakeasy Janitor’s Closet cleans up with a spiffy theme

Mops, buckets and Pine-Sol set the backdrop for bartender Jef Tate’s imaginative cocktails

An unusual speakeasy that opened last year, Janitor’s Closet is inside the FieldHouse Jones hotel, where Chicago’s Old Town and River North neighborhoods intersect. To add to the authenticity factor, this space actually used to be a janitor’s closet, complete with mops, buckets and Pine-Sol boxes, items that now look extremely irreverent incorporated into the design.

The 15-seat bar aims to be a cozy, tucked-away place to hide from Chicago’s gray winter, with former Moneygun bartender Jef Tate mixing up drinks with influence from around the world served in a secret nook inspired by a tipsy janitor.

The drinks make this place a destination, and reservations are the only surefire way to get into a place you thought you’d never need reservations for: a seat next to the Pine Sol. Examples of creative cocktails include The Brown Line, with a split base of tequila and mezcal with tamarind, pineapple, citrus and black garlic on top.

Take a look inside the Janitor’s Closet.



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