Calling all Sniffties!
A Chicago bar and restaurant is transforming into a destination for hardcore Taylor Swift fans who want to spend the winter month wallowing in her words and music.
On Feb. 3, Electric Garden, in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, will launch Bad Blood, a pop-up concept in honor of the singer whose song of the same name debuted in 2014. Alex Vazquez, executive chef and general manager, says Swift was the perfect choice for a concept geared at the anti-Valentine’s Day crowd because of her long history of break-up songs and personal boyfriend drama splashed across the headlines.
“What she sings about, and the heartbreak in her music, pairs very well with what we were looking for in wanting to get away from typical cupid and romance pop-ups,” he tells Variety.
Bad Blood will feature cocktails and food sourced from comments Swift has made over her career. Brunch will feature sausage, biscuits and gravy, and Fruity Pebbles French toast, Vazquez added. “She’s a lover of cereal,” he notes.
Drinks will borrow their names from song titles — “Lavender Haze,” named after a single from last year, is comprised of gin and lavender bitters, for example. All drinks will be represented in dark colors — reds and dark blues — for a visual enhancement to Swift’s songs of woe. Also on the list: Taylor’s Fave, or a rum and coke, which is reportedly Swift’s preference for a night on the town. Harry’s Fave, a rose punch, is dedicated to a Swift ex, Harry Styles.
“Everyone has gone through break-ups, so she has become relatable to everyone,” says bar co-owner Chris Johnston of Swift. “She’s someone who inspires a lot of people — so why wouldn’t we want to be a part of that as well?”
Besides the food and beverages, Bad Blood will also be adorned with life-sized cut-outs of Swift and her album covers. A tarot card reader be available to predict the direction of bar-goers’ love lives, and, yes, there will be karaoke featuring songs from her deep catalog.
Electric Garden is collaborating with Bucket Listers, a national events company, to produce Bad Blood. Pop-up concepts have become a larger trend in the hospitality industry spurred by intense competition post-COVID in larger cities like Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles. “There are thousands of bars in the city, everyone is trying to fight for the same piece of the pie,” says Johnston. “In a world when everyone is looking for instant gratification, you have to capture people’s attention in ways that are different and new.”
Bad Blood is a ticketed event that requires advance purchase. Each $22 ticket covers a 90-minute time slot. It will run through Feb. 26 with the possibility of an extension. Electric Garden is at 324 S. Racine Ave. in Chicago.