Jun 6, 2023 - Development

Scoop: Villa Heights cocktail bar Humbug now open

The view of Humbug from The Plaza.

Photo: Emma Way/Axios

Humbug opened in Villa Heights on June 21.

State of play: Co-owners Larry Suggs and Andrew Schools closed the pop-up version of their cocktail bar at 1101 Central Ave. Unit C. in January as they prepared to open their new space at 2501 The Plaza.

  • The cocktail bar is now in a renovated shopping center called Plaza Hill, joining other local businesses including Summit Coffee. Lat Purser & Associates is the developer.
Photo: Emma Way/Axios

Context: The bar opened as a pop-up inside Refuge, a boutique hotel in Plaza Midwood, last August, but Suggs and Schools always planned on finding a permanent home.

Details: The new 1,850-square-foot space, which the owners designed themselves, includes a larger bar, more seating, a pool table and lounge area in the back with a TV, plus the same low-lit, casual vibe as the pop-up. The lounge is available for private events.

  • Behind the lounge is what Suggs and Schools call a “cozy, elevated patio,” which seats 12. The inside seats more than 50 people and the lot behind the building includes more than 50 parking spaces.
  • They’re also expanding the Humbug team from two people to at least five.
  • Humbug is walk-in only and you must be at least 21 years old.

Drinks: Expect expanded options like nine natural wines and draft beer from local breweries like HopFly, Middle James and Divine Barrel, plus Chicago-based Moody Tongue, as well as Cynar, Guinness and Miller High Life.

  • Humbug will serve around 20 cocktails, including many of what Suggs and Schools call their “greatest hits” from the pop-up, plus eight shooters.

Menu: Humbug’s new bar snacks include:

Hours: It’s open from 4pm until 2am on Monday, Wednesday-Saturday and noon until midnight on Sunday. Closed on Tuesday.

The big picture: Schools and Suggs hope to bridge the gap between a neighborhood bar and a craft cocktail bar.

  • “We want you to come in as you are, no reservations, and have a good time,” Suggs tells Axios, adding the name reflects their goal of making cocktails feel inviting rather than pretentious.

Take a look around.

Pool table in Humbug's lounge area.
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
Pool table in Humbug's lounge area.
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
Humbug's lounge in Villa Heights.
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
Humbug's new Villa Heights bar.
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
Humbug's new space in Villa Heights.
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
Henry Collins cocktail with carbonated vodka and charred lemon. Photo courtesy of Humbug
Henry Collins cocktail with carbonated vodka and charred lemon. Photo courtesy of Humbug
Rye'd or Chai cocktail with rye whiskey, chai infused cold brew coffee, whole egg and grated nutmeg. Photo courtesy of Humbug
Rye’d or Chai cocktail with rye whiskey, chai infused cold brew coffee, whole egg and grated nutmeg. Photo courtesy of Humbug
ThunderCat cocktail with reposado tequila, fernet branca, Thai tea and egg white. Photo courtesy of Humbug
ThunderCat cocktail with reposado tequila, fernet branca, Thai tea and egg white. Photo courtesy of Humbug
Humbug's Villa Heights exterior.
Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios
Humbug co-owners Larry Suggs (left) and Andrew Schools. Photo: Danny Charland/courtesy of Humbug

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in January 2023 and was updated in June 2023.

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