The West Loop Bar behind ‘Cocktails To-Go’ has bagged another award.
After coming in fifth in the inaugural North America’s 50 Best Bars of 2022 back in June, West Loop’s Bar Kumiko has this week made it into a list of The World’s 50 Best Bars.
Decided by a vote of 650 drinks experts from across the globe, the list was first published in 2009 and “represents the ultimate international guide to the world’s top bars and drinking destinations.”
The 2022 edition of The World’s 50 Best Bars was unveiled in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain yesterday at an in-person awards ceremony with a live countdown of the best bars that was streamed globally.
It is one of the drinks industry’s most prestigious and highly anticipated nights of the year which bartenders from all over the planet come to attend.
Chicago’s Kumiko in West Loop is the only bar in Chicago to make it on the list and came in at number twenty-five.
— 50BestBars (@50BestBars) October 4, 2022
The world list was mainly dominated by bars in Barcelona, New York, London, Mexico City, and Bangkok with Chicago’s Kumiko and Café La Trova in Miami the only United States representatives outside of New York.
“Julia Momose’s Kumiko is the epitome of elegance. The refined West Loop space, livened by beautiful wood cabinetry and exposed brick, is immediately transportive. But, it is the menu where the maestra works her magic, channeling the flavors of her Japanese-American heritage” read the list’s reason for including Kumiko.
An impressive bottle list which includes imbued saké, shochu, rice whiskey, and Japanese whisky received special mention, as did the bar team’s “formidable skills” at creating “bright and supple cocktails” with particular emphasis on the Walk Softly (rice vodka, sake, vermouth and brut champagne) and Sea Flower (gin, blanc vermouth de chambéry, sake, kabosu juice and lime.)
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]