Ward 8s Manhattan

I don’t recall annoying more people with a restaurant review than I did last summer when I wrote about Premise. For the most part, all those aggrieved Andersonvillians weren’t whinging at what I said about the new restaurant, but at a perceived slight on Anne Carlson and Cody Modeer, the bartenders who took over the previous restaurant—In Fine Spirits—after the exceptionally talented Ben Schiller left.

I didn’t even mention either one by name, but it was clear the pair had a deep and devoted following—which might just follow them north, where they’ve opened their own place in Evanston. That a modern craft cocktail bar of Ward Eight’s caliber has opened in the once-dry home of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union is remarkable in its own right, but Carlson and Modeer, who live above the bar with their baby, received (over Frances Willard’s dead body) thousands of dollars worth of subsidies from the Evanston City Council* in order to open (a situation not uncontroversial among certain taxpayers). It’s additionally remarkable that the bar is located on the suburban side of the occasionally troubled Howard Street. You can get a drink elsewhere on the Chicago side, but at the Tally Ho Pub directly across the street they won’t let you in unless you’re over 30.