The West Loop Bar behind ‘Cocktails To-Go’ came in fifth-best in the country!
After making it onto a list of The World’s 100 Best Bars as a new entry in 2020, Bar Kumiko has been named in the inaugural North America’s 50 Best Bars of 2022. The West Loop bar is the only bar in Chicago bar to make it on the list and came in at number five.
Decided by a vote of 500 drinks experts, the ranking celebrates the best of North America’s drinks industry and offers the ultimate guide to the continent’s top bars and drinking destinations. The 2022 list is the first North Americ-specific edition, sponsored by Perrier, it was announced during an awards ceremony in New York on Tuesday 7th June.
The World’s 50 Best Bars is owned and organized by William Reed Business Media which organizes several lists including Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. They also organized an initiative in response to COVID-19 called the 50 Best for Recovery which raised more than $1.24m for the hospitality sector. The initiative provided grants to 217 businesses from 53 countries as a direct result of fundraising efforts.
The list was mainly dominated by bars in New York, Mexico City, and Toronto with Chicago’s Kumiko the only Midwestern representative. Coming in at 84th on the World’s 100 Best Bars in 2020, it was mooted as a new entry and one to keep your eye on. Sure enough coming in at a respectable 5th in this years list of North America’s 50 Best Bars shows it has gone from strength to strength.
Bar Kimiko is also to thank for Chicago officially legalizing to-go cocktails during the pandemic. In April of 2020, Julia Momose, Partner and Creative Director at Kumiko in Fulton River District, started a petition entitled Cocktails for Hope | Cocktails To-Go, calling for the temporary legalization of the sale of cocktails. “We need the State of Illinois to allow bars and restaurants with on-premise licenses to sell their carefully crafted cocktails as a way to increase revenue during these trying times,” the petition read.
Described as “a Japanese Dining Bar” on the bar’s website, Kumiko considers itself “an expression of elegance, commitment, and passion, from the mind of creative director and bartender Julia Momosé.” Whether savoring some of Japan’s finest saké, pairing one of its incredible cocktails with exquisite bites or enjoying a delectable evening dinner in a minimalistic setting, Kumiko’s promises an elevated menu of beverages that blends Japanese ingredients and techniques to offer something unlike anything else in the Midwest, let alone Chicago.
The bar is located on the true corner of Lake and Desplaines, 630 West Lake Street. More information can be found at barkumiko.com.
[Featured image from Instagram / @barkumiko]