Slideshow: First Look Inside The Trenchermen
The Trenchermen.

The first thing to note is that The Trenchermen doesn’t open for at least a few more weeks, depending on who you talk to. (We’d bet on late June.) But they were committed to a charity event one of the owners was attached to, and so the doors opened for one night on a mostly-finished space dotted here and there with signs of last-minute emergency decorating (rental chairs and tables, candles where lighting fixtures will go). Likewise, kitchen equipment had just been installed, and kitchen staff hasn’t been hired yet, so a crew from Three Floyds was in the kitchen helping Mike and Pat Sheerin prep appetizers. All that said, the main fixtures in both rooms are in place, and so was the feel once the rooms filled up.

The vintage bathhouse near North and Damen with its white-tiled walls, which served for many years as the starkly minimalist home to Spring, has been transformed into a chicly contemporary bar and dining room, something like Avec in the way it suggests both contemporary and vintage style, modernist chic and a bit of steampunk Victorianism, without explicitly identifying itself with any particular style or era. Especially notable is the black walnut bar, which is deliberately low and accessible, perfect for small plates and a drink (including two levels so you can eat off one and drink off the other). Unless you happened to see one of the cellphone photos being tweeted throughout the party, here’s your first look at what will be one of Wicker Park’s hotspots when it opens for real in another few weeks.

Previously: Asking the Trenchermen About Each Others’ Cooking

Descending the short staircase you enter the bar, which has two levels and a surprisingly low height of 38” to make it more approachable for both eating and drinking. The bar is black walnut, made of continuous 32-foot strips; it had to be brought in in the middle of the night so it could clear intersections without other traffic.
Mixologist Tono Palomino making one of his creations.
Parts of the vintage bathhouse were left intact, most notably the vintage white tile on the surrounding walls. They hope to fix up the ancient espresso machine.
The bar and the dining room are separated by an interior wall, but visible to each other.
The dining room is dominated by two dramatic light fixtures.
A raised area at the front of the room can be a dining salon or, as in this case, where the DJ works.
Pat Sheerin at work on the kobe beef for some appetizers.
Pat and Mike Sheerin with some of the Three Floyds crew putting appetizers together.
Slideshow: First Look Inside The Trenchermen