The Sixth – a neighborhood bar from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and its beverage director Benjamin Schiller – will open to the public on Monday, December 28

 The Sixth – a neighborhood bar from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and its beverage director Benjamin Schiller – will open to the public on Monday, December 28 in the heart of Lincoln Square.

The Sixth – located in the same physical address at 2200 West Lawrence Avenue as the newly opened Roots Handmade Pizza with a separate entrance – will open daily at 5pm and will close at 2am every night except for Saturdays when it closes at 3am. The Sixth will be open on New Year’s Eve, but reservations must be made via info@thesixthbar.com.

 

The Sixth at its core is a neighborhood bar to serve the residents of Lincoln Square at neighborhood prices. Guests will be given the friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable service and should be comfortable ordering anything from a mass market canned lager, to a vodka & soda, to carefully-crafted esoteric cocktail, to a glass of small-production orange wine, to a rare out-of-production spirit from just after Prohibition ended, and everything else.

 “This is my neighborhood,” Schiller said. “This is where I’ve lived for many, many years. I'm really excited to plant a stake in Lincoln Square and take care of my neighborhood. We want to be creative. We want to show technique. But we're also mindful about not becoming pretentious. The best way to guard against that is to keep things whimsical, keep things light, keep things fun.”

The Sixth’s opening bartenders are Schiller, Josh Relkin (previously of The Office, The Aviary, Alinea, Per Se, Sable, and The Berkshire Room) and Joel Rund (previously of The Berkshire Room, Homestead On The Roof, and Rebar) – and all three live in Lincoln Square just a few blocks away from The Sixth and walk to work.

The name of The Sixth was inspired by two different storylines. The first inspiration comes from author Gerald Carson’s book “The Social History of Bourbon” where he writes that at one time in American history one in every six men were involved with the distilling or distribution of bourbon.

The second inspiration comes from the fact that The Sixth is the sixth unique concept to open from The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group. The other concepts from the restaurant group include The Berkshire Room, The Fifty/50, Roots Handmade Pizza, Homestead On The Roof, and West Town Bakery. The second location of Roots is now open next to The Sixth in Lincoln Square.  

“We’ve been wanting to open a small neighborhood bar up in Lincoln Square for many years, and Benjamin was our obvious choice to help us make it all happen,” Mohr said. “We’ve always prided ourselves that all of our restaurants and bars are unique and standalone concepts, and The Sixth will continue our tradition of doing just that.”

Weiner and Mohr were both responsible for the creative curation and conception of The Sixth. Mohr also helped design the intimate 50-seat space with Nick Bowers of blocHaus (The Berkshire Room, the Lincoln Square location of Roots Handmade Pizza, Lillie’s Q, Epic Sky, etc).

The Sixth’s contemporary design features a dark, warm palette of mostly grays that are accented with bright colors, custom and sleek mid-century inspired lighting, marble tabletops, and Dutch modern-inspired furniture including yellow couches and four armchairs made of wood and leather.

Bar seating is 14 of the 50 seats in The Sixth, and the bar top itself is made of poured concrete and features brass drink grates inset into the bar where guests can set down their drinks without the need of a cocktail napkin. There are also three tall marble “Bartender’s Tables” (inspired by Chef’s Tables) that are positioned higher up where guests can get a view of the cocktail creation going on behind the bar and are able to interact with the bartenders.

The Sixth will open with 10 house cocktails that are all priced at $12 each – except for an “Old Money” cocktail (bourbon, Aperol, walnut liqueur, allspice) that's finished in a port wine barrel for $15.

One of Schiller’s house cocktails at The Sixth is the “Silly Rabbit” that’s inspired by the Trix cereal bunny. A riff on a refreshing “Southside” cocktail (featuring gin and fresh lemon) will be served in a carafe along with a dropper bottle of housemade mint extract. The guest will then pour the carafe and add the mint to a Collins glass that contains four different ice cube that are each modeled after the Trix flavors (“Orangey Orange”, “Lemony Yellow”, “Raspberry Red”, and “Grapeity Grape”).

Descriptions of the remaining eight house cocktails are at the end of this press release.

Most of the ice used in cocktails at The Sixth are from an on-site Clinebell Ice Block Machine. (The Sixth is believed to be only the fourth place in Chicago that has this high-end ice machine).

The Clinebell makes two separate 300-pound blocks of crystal-clear and impurity-clear ice that take 54 hours to complete. Each block is then lifted out of the Clinebell with a crane pulley and then are broken down by hand-carving and a band saw. From these ice blocks, The Sixth’s bartenders will create six different kinds of ice to use in their cocktails.

The Sixth has about 200 different spirits on its back bar including single-barrel bourbons from Russell’s Reserve, Wild Turkey, W.L. Weller, and Buffalo Trace hand-selected at each distillery by Schiller and his team.

The Sixth also has several “Antique” spirits -- -including a bonded bourbon range of Old Grand-Dads from each decade starting in the 1930s thru the early 1990s. The Sixth also has several mid-range and affordable antiques such as Jim Beam from the 1970s and Bourbon De Luxe from the 1970s.

The Sixth’s beer program features mostly international beers from the likes of Belgium, Germany, England, and France. Four beers will be on tap and an additional 30 are available in bottles and cans.

The Sixth has 24 different wines that are available by the bottle (with about half of them also available by the glass). Glass prices range from $9 to $15, and bottle prices range from $36 to $250. The wine list is broken into five sections: sparkling, white, orange, rosé, and red.  
 
Like The Sixth’s beer list, the majority of The Sixth’s wines are European in origin. While The Sixth does have well-known varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it also features wines made from lesser known, but still delicious grapes like Auxerrois, Malvasia, Ribolla, and Touring Nacional.  A great many of The Sixth’s wines are very limited in both production, and availability, and thus, the wine list will change frequently.

As food items, The Sixth will serve veal doner (Turkish-European street food) with different dipping sauces and duck-fat fried frites.

All of the remaining house cocktails at The Sixth are:

Doris
gin, lemon, flower water, salt
Named after Schiller’s grandmother Doris who was an avid gardener, the Doris cocktail is gin-forward and crystal clear and served over a custom made ice cube that contains a rose inside the Collins glass. When it is served, an aromatic garnish of flower water is applied tableside with an antique perfume sprayer.

Spaceman Spiff
mezcal, grilled pineapple, hazelnut, cedar
Named after Calvin's alter ego from the “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip. This cocktail is robustly flavorful and when drunk, the "saucer" part of the cocktail is removed and a rich smoke of cedar and citrus is released that compliments the cocktail. After the smoke clears, an alien scene from a world Spiff visited is revealed below.
 
Patina
vodka, Aperol, cucumber, grapefruit
A balanced sweet and sour cocktail with a refreshingly crisp and clean cucumber finish. Served in an antique coupe glass.
 
Autumn Into Summer
apple brandy, bourbon, sherry, clove, vanilla
Big fall flavors are presented in the style of a refreshing and cooling summer cocktail served over crushed ice in a modified pilsner glass.
 
Statler & Waldorf
white rum, amer bigallet, seasonal fruit, mint
Named after the cantankerous and always-heckling duo from The Muppets, this cocktail has molasses notes from the rum and clean citrus and mint flavors that are complimented by the seasonal fruit. It’s a smash format cocktail (Schiller’s favorite style) that’s served over a large two-inch crystal clear ice cube in a rocks glass.
 
Saturnus
aquavit, brandy, falernum, ginger
An aquavit variation of the Tiki classic cocktail called the Saturn (Saturnus is Swedish for Saturn). Brandy serves as the bridge between the aquavit, falernum, and ginger. The cocktail is served in a copper pineapple with crushed ice and it is garnished with a Swedish flag and Swedish Fish candy.
 
Bracer
rye, stone pine, amaro, porter
Bracer is a nod to Game Of Thrones and Eddard Stark – it’s a strong and straight-forward cocktail with alpine spice notes served in an ox horn mug sans ice.
 
Weston
wheated bourbon, Dark Matter Coffee essence, pipe tobacco
A strong and stirred Schiller classic served over a large two-inch crystal clear ice cube in a rocks glass.