LAKEVIEW — The team behind mEAT, Minibar and D.S. Tequila is adding another restaurant to its Boystown arsenal: Dive Bar, a nautical spot with fresh seafood and a whole lot of rum.
"We like to theme our restaurants around cocktails," co-owner John Dalton said. "This will be rum-based, kind of beachy. ... We're trying to take people on a vacation."
That starts with the decor. Dalton said the front half of the bar at 3445 N. Halsted St. will look like a dock with rustic touches and imported shipping containers. Behind that is a specialty rum bar. And the back of the building houses an area for private parties and special events designed to look "like the captain's area on a yacht," Dalton said.
Dive Bar seats 50 people and is expected to open on Dec. 1.
The menu includes steamed-seafood buckets, fried oysters (buffalo blue cheese, spicy hot), mussels, crawfish, New England clam chowder and fried chicken.
"There'll be food to share, quick basket bites, things to grab with friends," Dalton said. "[We] want people to just be sitting around socializing, rather than coming in for entrees."
Dive Bar will focus on rum, with 80 different daiquiri combinations. There'll be $4 daily drink specials and cocktails that are "a little reminiscent of tiki bars, but with more of a twist," Dalton said.
He and business partner Stu Zirin first announced plans for the Boystown space, which once housed Tapas Gitana, late last year. The goal was to create a New Orleans-themed restaurant with Cajun food and Southern fried chicken.
Dalton said seafood seamed like a better fit. Beyond Fish Bar at 2956 N. Sheffield Ave., there aren't many local seafood joints, he said, and Dive Bar's small kitchen was more suitable for shucking shellfish than cooking whole meals.
"Grilled fish tacos at D.S. Tequila sell off the charts," Dalton said, "so people are yearning for it. ... There's still a need in this area for different types of entertainment when it comes to eating."
Dalton said plans were still being finalized, but likely Dive Bar specials will include "Fried Chicken Sundays" and all-you-can-eat oysters.
Come spring, guests can expect to lounge out back in a boat-dock-themed patio.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: