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Presidio Hopes to Lure Locals with Cocktails By 606: PHOTOS

By Alisa Hauser | February 9, 2015 9:35am | Updated on February 10, 2015 10:15am
 Presido will replace Bluebird and open sometime next week.
Presido will replace Bluebird and open sometime next week.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

BUCKTOWN —  The summer closures of Bluebird and Silver Cloud —  both popular neighborhood spots — left fewer places to grab a bite and drink at along Damen Avenue.

But come next week, the former Bluebird, next to Mindy's Hot Chocolate, will be reopening as Presidio, a craft cocktail lounge and restaurant from Patrick Cullen, a former lawyer and bartender at Dragon Ranch.

Just south of Churchill Park, one of six ground-level access parks where you can hop on the 2.7-mile elevated Bloomingdale Trail when it opens in June, Presidio at 1749 N. Damen Ave. is set to open sometime next week but has not settled on a specific day yet, Cullen said.

Chef Shaun Connolly's menu will focus on seasonality and change its ingredients frequently. Regular staples will include Great Lakes region fish bites, house-made pastas and rabbit confit salad.

The beer and cocktail menu, designed by Drumbar's beverage director Alex Renshaw and Fulton Market Kitchen's Brian Sturgulewski, will focus on beers from San Francisco.

The front of Presidio, designed by John Wolf, a friend of Cullen's who usually specializes in residential homes, is packed with comfy couches facing a 22-seat bar.

The back dining room, which seats 42, has a community table in the center and long tables, similar to Bluebird.

Cullen said Presidio will bring 20 new jobs to the neighborhood and the goal is to continue Bluebird's tradition of attracting local residents.

"We want it to still have a great neighborhood vibe. Presidio is not strictly a restaurant; it's designed for people to stay awhile and lounge, for business meetings and groups,"  he said.

Cullen added, "There are a lot of options for a beer and a shot in Wicker Park and Bucktown, a lot of fast-casual, and we wanted to hit a more adult demographic, more elevated and refined."

When the nearby Bloomingdale Trail opens in June, Presidio, which opens at 5 p.m. daily, will offer weekend brunch too, Cullen said.

Presidio, 1749 N. Damen Ave. Ph: 773-697-3315.  Closed Mondays.

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