On Saturday, barman Ben Schiller put in notice with the Boka Restaurant Group, for whom he’s overseen the cocktails at the flagship, GT Fish & Oyster, and Girl & the Goat since 2009, after making his name at In Fine Spirits. He’s signed on with the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group as a partner in the Berkshire Room, the forthcoming craft cocktail lounge in the new Acme Hotel, in River North, and will be helping out at Homestead, the farm-to-table restaurant above Roots Handmade Pizza.
But that’s not all—Schiller and a few other partners are actively looking for a space to open their own bar concept, which he describes as “essentially like an old-man bar. There aren’t a lot of places you can get an amazing cutting-edge cocktail and bring your uncle from Wisconsin who’s a welder . . . a place where, if you want a shot and a beer and to wear dirty jeans, you won’t feel bad about it. Scofflaw and Bar DeVille are close, but not at the level I want to take it.”
Schiller’s last day at Boka is May 11.