By Nicolette Preradovic
If you thought Fleetwood Mac’s visit to the United Center last week wasn’t enough for your Stevie Fix, then don’t worry–there’s more. All throughout October, The Rookery, Chicago’s West Town Bar, known for its whiskey selection, will be hosting a Stevie Nicks Pop-Up Bar, called Rhiannon, on the second floor.
The bar features a Stevie Nicks shrine on the left wall, with images of the musical icon lit up with flameless candles and a Wiccan star. Resident tarot card reader, Ashley, sits in the corner of the mystical wonderland with a keen eye – available to anyone who is searching for a bit of realignment in their lives and even some sound advice.
My five-minute session with Ashley [about love] ends with quiet fortitude. She’s shuffling her deck of cards, long black hair falling straight down her back. Ashley reclines in her straw chair throne, looks at me, and says, “Just be kind.” Only a simple person like myself could relish in such effortless phrasing.
The rest of the bar is everything any person(s) with an interest in the occult, witchcraft, or gypsy anything could fall in love with. Black lace covers the three lamps that hover over the ten foot bar. Two large candelabras rest on the surface; flames flicker through layers and layers of solidified molten candle wax – resembling a white, weeping willow.
The best part is the back wall bar. A Ouija board stands centered to a shuffle of items that make you feel like you’re part of some kind of sacred circle: peacock feathers, skull heads, occult symbols, a palmistry hand statue, images of majestic horses, Stevie veladora candles, little mason jars, and a plethora of alcohol-infused liquids.
We are, in fact, part of a sacred circle. We are all here experiencing our love for one of the most amazing voices in music. Stevie’s voice blares through the speakers of the intimate setting and you immediately get caught in your feels. A projector with videos of Stevie light up the back wall enhances the whole experience.
The cocktail menu has drinks named after her famous songs. “Little Lies,” the one I’m drinking, has Mezcal, fig jam, lime, and simple syrup. There’s also, “Gold Dust Woman,” “Sisters of the Moon,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Never Break the Chain,” “Crystal Visions,” and “Bella Donna.”
When I leave the pop-up, I decide to check out the rest of the bar. One hundred and sixty whiskeys are written on a menu. The bartender, Mark, is feeding me shots of Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon, when we realize we know a lot of the same people. That’s what I love about Chicago. There really is magic in it, and it really is like you belong to a sacred circle.
For more information on The Rookery or Rhiannon: Stevie Nicks Pop-Up Bar, go to www.therookerychicago.com – just don’t forget your drinking shoes. By the end of the night, you might find yourself howling at the moon.