This fall, restaurateurs Bruce Finkelman and Craig Golden took over the 100-year-old Thalia Hall with the hope of developing it into multiple spaces, as was the vision of its founder, John Dusek. That dream was realized with the Hall’s three venues: 70’s-inspired, basement-level cocktail space Punch House, brew-focused Dusek’s Board + Beer, and a coming-soon events space. Since the holidays are the season of sharing, we suggest cozying up around a communal glass, carafe, or bowl of punch at Punch House.
The menu is evenly divided between classic and contemporary concoctions. On the modern side, the namesake Dusek punch is a nice and simple mix, comprising bourbon, lemon, raw sugar, dark ale, and nutmeg. The four classic punches nod to eras past, like the Philadelphia Fish House Punch, 1732, which features Gosling’s Black Seal, Landy Cognac, Mathilde Peche, lemon, and angostura.
For those who’d rather pass on punch, the menu offers a few takes on classic cocktails like a Jamaican Old Fashioned and the Punch House Negroni. This month, try the special hot Christmas punch, or Ponche Navideno: guavas, tejocotes, apples, and other fruits stewed with cinnamon in a brandy and tequila mix.
If you don’t grab a bite at Dusek’s upstairs beforehand, sate your punch-induced appetite with East and West Coast oysters or a selection of bar snacks, like the wood-roasted blue crab dip or the pot of house pickles. Alternatively, hit Punch House for an after-dinner drink and dessert, like the tasty roasted chili churros. 1227 W. 18th St., 312-526-3851