RIVER NORTH — The newest entrant in the crowded River North bar scene will be a shot-and-beer kind of place with a bit of the tropics tossed in — and some pretty swell liquor in those glasses.
At Henry's Swing Club, 18 W. Hubbard St., the half-dozen Boilermakers on offer include one named the Hamtramck after the Detroit enclave: a shot of Old Grand-Dad 100 proof bourbon and a can of Stroh's.
The bar plans a soft opening at 5 p.m. Friday.
This being the newest venture from chef Michael Kornick, David Morton and Michael Rubel of DMK Restaurants, there will be food, but as with the drinks, they're keeping it casual — sliders and mini-sandwiches between $2 and $4 and other booze-appropriate snacks such as Hatch chile nachos.
Rubel, DMK's beverage director, is the man behind the drink menus at Violet Hour, Big Star and Billy Sunday. Henry's Swing Club won't feel like any of those places, or the surrounding bars in River North for that matter, he said.
"At the end of the day, I wanted to see if you could have first-rate, artisanal cocktails, but in a totally accessible, relaxed, fun environment," he said.
Henry's Swing Club is a nod to the Detroit blues club of the same name, referenced in John Lee Hooker's "Boogie Chillen." Rubel said he listened to a lot of the bluesman while planning the menu.
The Hamtramck is "what I envisioned an automaker might have for breakfast after an all-night shift," he said.
The Vampiro is tequila, sangrita and a splash of Squirt soda. It's typically sold on the side of the road, in a plastic bag with a straw, Rubel said. The Henry's version includes sangrita made with housemade grenadine, orange and lime juice and three chilies. It will come in a real glass.
Drinks will be in the $8 to $10 range.
"You can pay $12 for a rum and Coke in this neighborhood," Rubel said.
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