LIVE IN: Humboldt Park (Allison and Laman) and River North (Bronstein) WHAT THEY DO: Allison, 36, is co-owner at Lost Lake; Laman, 34, is a beverage consultant; and Bronstein, 36, is director of marketing for Fords Gin. PASSION PROJECT: The trio created the meeting-of-the-bar-minds, Chicago Style, and are bringing it back for a second year with thought-provoking panels, seminars, and parties for industry folks and bar fans. POTENTLY PURPOSEFUL: “It’s equal parts think and drink,” says Bronstein, who notes the event focuses on inclusion, diversity, and equality. “In the cocktail community, there’s a lack of representation for women, people of color, and queer folk,” says Allison. “Allyship” is big conference topic, as are ageism and political activism. BUILDING A SUPPORT SYSTEM: The three agree that, with stronger bonds and education in the industry, an underseen population can become more visible. And through awareness efforts, underserved neighborhoods, particularly on the South Side, can make a bigger impact on the cocktail scene. “People work hard in Chicago, and often they do it just for the love of the craft,” says Laman. “It’s an authentic community. … We’re here for each other.” THE MAIN EVENT: Food for thought aside, there’s plenty of partying at the conference. Expect drinks and cheers at Bar Fight Club on May 6, when the country’s most notable bars, including Chicago’s Good Measure, go head-to-head in a drink-making battle. “The competition is insanely impressive,” says Bronstein.
Chicago Style runs May 6-9 at Ace Hotel Chicago, 311 N. Morgan; seminar day passes $60; Bar Fight Club tickets $20; drinkchicagostyle.com
Photo by Lisa Hinsberger