On Tuesday night Jamie Boudreau put down the power tools and took up the booze, holding court at a small preview event for his highly anticipated Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium. Thanks to Boudreau's newfound handyman skills, the former Licorous space is far less pink than it used to be, and punctuated with memorable touches like vintage glassware, a gramophone and an old-school cash register, which Boudreau said came with a 1919 bill of sale to Chicago chewing gum heir Charles Wrigley.
Canon plans to open quietly in the coming days; Boudreau, his wife Erin and partner Andrew Fawcett say perhaps even by the weekend, depending on when the cocktail-centric bar can stock some wine and beer. The barman has amassed a splendiferous array of spirits on the shelves that run across the back wall, and says he's not done yet. The plan, he says, is to be "ensconced in booze."
Fun details abound. Bills will come in vintage tin cigar boxes and patrons who order a "personal cocktail" will get it delivered in a glass flask bearing Canon's name and logo. "It's your own to-go cocktail," says Boudreau. Granted, it's illegal to actually remove these drinks from the premises, but it's a damn darling idea nonetheless. All this, plus the handsomely bound menus that will contain the storied 100-item drink list, should make for a great Shit People Steal post down the road.
Despite the staggering amount of bottles on display, Canon won't use any sort of POS system; Boudreau says there's just too much going on. That antique cash register will actually be used for ringing drinks. In the coming days Boudreau will be training staff. Fellow big-name barman Nathan Weber didn't make an appearance last night, but chef Melinda Bradley was on hand and working a single burner in the kitchen. Keep an eye on Canon's Facebook and Twitter for that opening date. Eater will be tracking it as well.