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Cake & Whiskey Club Doubles Down on Decadence

By Patty Wetli | November 1, 2013 3:44pm
 The Cake & Whiskey Club is hosting its inaugural event Sunday, the Prohibition-themed "CakeEasy."
The Cake & Whiskey Club is hosting its inaugural event Sunday, the Prohibition-themed "CakeEasy."
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Ashley Rose Photography

NORTH CENTER — For the millionth time, be careful what you share on Facebook. You might end up unintentionally founding the Cake & Whiskey Club.

"The whole idea kind of started with a half-joking Facebook post that I just wanted to eat cake and drink whiskey all the time," said Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, of West Town.

The comment struck a chord with friends, who encouraged Garcia to take his cravings seriously.

On Sunday, he'll discover how many like-minded cake and whiskey afficionados exist, as his idea, which up until now has existed solely in the social media ether, takes physical form. The club is hosting its first event, the Prohibition-themed "The CakeEasy," at Homegrown Cafe.

"I wanted to have something tied into whiskey culture," Garcia said of the theme.

The speakeasy's reputation for underground indulgence fits perfectly with the sense of decadence Garcia aims to cultivate with the Cake & Whiskey Club. Though not required, the recommended attire for the evening is "Prohibition casual" or what Garcia described as "Bonnie and Clyde out in the country.

"It's not dress up to the nines," he said. "You can go as far as you want with it."

Homegrown's Chef Gil Langlois developed a red velvet cherries jubilee cake especially for the occasion and also helped Garcia choose the perfect whiskey accompaniment.

"I wanted to find a corn whiskey, like moonshine but not so strong," as a nod to Prohibition's illicit stills, said Garcia.

He landed on Houston-based Yellow Rose Distillery's Blended Whiskey, which will be fashioned into cocktails like the "Ginger Capone."

Seating is capped at 50 for the Homegrown event, and in addition to cake and whiskey, guests will be treated to live music from Them Bones, whose sound Garcia called "backwoods bluesy."

While it remains to be seen if the Cake & Whiskey Club catches on with Chicagoans, Garcia, who works for TicketWeb by day, is already moving full steam ahead with plans for the second of what he hopes to become a monthly series.

The club has already announced Whiskey, FrankinCake & Myrrh for Dec. 29 at Wicker Park's Den Theatre. By collecting coats at the event for the Chicago Coalition of the Homeless, the club will also incorporate another passion of Garcia's.

"It's important to me to add a philanthropic aspect," said Garcia.

In 2010, he started the blog Living Philanthropic, which chronicled his attempt to donate to a different charity every day for an entire year.

The effort was inspired by Garcia's mother.

"I grew up on the South Side with five sisters and a single mother," he said. "We didn't have a lot of money but she was so giving. She'd take whatever change she had and throw it in a cup" for March of Dimes or other charities.

"She always said there were people just as needy, more so than us," Garcia recalled.

Tickets for CakeEasy, 8-11 p.m. Nov. 3, are $28 and can be purchased online. The cost includes tax and gratuity, as well as copious amounts of cake and two or three cocktails.