A Drag Brunch Celebrates Taylor Swift Music, Banned at a Chicago Bar 2023
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A Drag Brunch Celebrates Taylor Swift Music, Banned at a Chicago Bar 2023

In the baffling world of American mainstream music, there is one name that seems to generate more controversy than almost any other. That is, of course, the one and only Taylor Swift — the world-famous 33-year-old singer, songwriter, and worker who will perform at Soldier Field on June 1 and 2 as part of her Eras Tour (already notorious for a major Ticketmaster mishap).

The concerts are Swift’s first in Chicago since 2015 and are certain to attract enormous crowds of admirers. According to some, this is excellent news for the city’s restaurants and taverns, which continue to inch closer to economic stability.

At Pioneer Tavern Group’s New Orleans-style restaurant and bar in Wicker Park, Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, the advent of the singer is a cause for celebration. Saturday, June 3 at 1415 N. Wood Street, the team has planned a charmingly theatrical Taylor Swift drag luncheon featuring local performers including Kitty Banks, and a Swift-themed cocktail menu. Tickets are available via Tock for $30 and include a cocktail, family-style luncheon, and performances at noon and 3 p.m.

A Drag Brunch Celebrates Taylor Swift Music, Banned at a Chicago Bar 2023 3

Swift’s enormous cultural influence and throngs of devoted admirers made it simple to decide to host the themed drag luncheon. “Since we’re a NOLA concept, anything goes,” says owner Mark Domitrovich, whose group also runs the popular Lottie’s Pub in Chicago Fire. “We want to keep things lively and entertaining, and we’re always on the lookout for something novel. The Taylor Swift mania has reached an all-time high.”

As with everything Taylor Swift, some haters will (sigh) hate hate hate.

One cocktail bar in Chinatown takes the opposite approach. A sign on the door of the Best Bar at 2233 S. Wentworth Avenue states, “Shake it off: No Taylor Swift music is allowed here.”

The sign now signifies a permanent policy, co-owner Chris Cinka tells Block Club Chicago. It was inspired by a regular who requested a moratorium on Taylor Swift music for his birthday party. Instead, the DJs at Best Bar are playing “a variety of house music,” a genre that Cinka associates with his birthplace of Detroit, despite its origins and popularity in Chicago.

Since the sign was posted, requests for Taylor Swift songs have reportedly increased, which the team interprets as a playful jab on the part of customers.

Cinka and co-owner James Urydki are also partners on King Karaoke, a posh new lounge in Chinatown; however, it is not yet known whether amateur vocalists will be permitted to perform their beloved Taylor Swift song at the venue.

Ultimately, however, these are Champagne concerns. Best wishes to all who must endure Swifities’ wrath.

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