On April 15, 1865 Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a theater. His bodyguard, John Parker, snuck away to a nearby saloon during intermission, allowing John Wilkes Booth a free shot at our 16th President. Lincoln's purported dying words, "Dude, not cool." were directed at a drunken Parker who was, presumably, sipping a peach margarita at the time of the attack. Now, 150 years later, it would appear that all has been forgiven as the Honest Abe-inspired Hotel Lincoln welcomes their much anticipated rooftop bar, The J. Parker.
The recently opened Hotel Lincoln is where a Vermont bed and breakfast meets Etsy.com at a Lana Del Rey concert. Think everlasting style reimagined, like when Puff Daddy wears a bow tie. To celebrate this seamless clashing of eras, I documented my experience on Instagram. So, even my pictures harmonize between generations.
Appropriately, the view of Lincoln Park is incredible from atop the 12-story Hotel Lincoln. To the east, guests look straight down at the South Pond, Lincoln Park Zoo, and over North Avenue Beach to the Lake Michigan horizon. Looking south, an only slightly disrupted view of downtown Chicago.
If the Hotel Lincoln is anchored in timeless nostalgia, then The J. Parker is its dramatic and stylish makeweight. Tables are cool when they have fireplaces in them. They're even cooler when surrounded by cabana-style seating. And they're the coolest when they have glasses of Pimm's & Cointreau-enhanced sangria sweating on their tops. At The J. Parker, they have, like, really cool tables.
In an ironic twist of fate, it's Lincoln who now looks after The J. Parker - but he has some help. Celebrated mixologist Erin Hayes handles the drink menu, which features "destination cocktails." Her ever changing list of spirits highlight various countries every few months. I thought enough of the Spanish-inspired Rose Sangria to polish off three glasses.
The rooftop bar also features a wait staff as eye-catching as the drinks they serve. For food, there's a charming small plate concept developed by Perennial Virant Chef Paul Virant.
Check out the video for more behind-the-scenes action.