The Backroom at Chicago Athletic Association

Backroom at Chicago Athletic Association

Join us at The Backroom, a pop-up bar located at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The Backroom is open Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm – midnight through March 25. Sip cocktails, see real specimens from the Museum's collection, and join in hands-on activities with Field Museum scientists and experts.

The Backroom was created in partnership with Johalla Projects and Land and Sea Dept. This pop-up bar experience is hosted in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel's ground floor Tank space. The Backroom celebrates Specimens: Unlocking the Secrets of Life, an upcoming special exhibition taking a deep dive into The Field Museum’s vast collections, opening March 10. The pop-up, designed by Chicago-based art gallery Johalla Projects and operated by Land and Sea Dept., features actual specimens from the Field’s huge collection.

The Backroom features interactive programming with Field Museum professionals in the space each night on a variety of topics, ranging from space to taxidermy and more (full schedule below). All events are free, and give guests the rare opportunity to chat in person with leading experts in the fields of botany, zoology, geology, history, and more, all while enjoying cocktails from Land and Sea Dept. beverage director Paul McGee. The bar also offers late night programming until midnight following each workshop, like DJs, trivia, karaoke, and more.

Saturday, February 25 7-10pm: Opening Party with DJ set from Elliot Bergman of Wild Belle

Friday, March 3 6pm: Dig Your Own Dinosaur with Akiko Shinya 8pm: Dino Trivia Night!

Saturday, March 4 6pm: Glowing Rocks with Jim Holstein 8pm: Glitter Guts photobooth with custom backdrop by Stephen Eichhorn

Friday, March 10 6pm: Plant Pressing with Anna Balla 8pm: Bitters making workshop with Wetherby’s Bitters

Saturday, March 11 6pm: Mushroom Show & Tell with Patrick Leacock 8pm: Psych Rock DJ set from Adam Scott

Friday, March 17 6pm: Butterfly Pinning with Crystal Maier 8pm: Gutter Butter (Logan Bay & Ben Fasman) DJ Set

Saturday, March 18 6pm: Taxidermy Night with Ben Marks and Kayleigh Kueffner

Friday, March 24 6pm: Scientists on Screen with Greg Mercer 8pm: Lumpen Radio‘s Green Screen Karaoke

Saturday, March 25 6pm: Assembling Fish Skeletons with Caleb McMahan 8pm: Closing Party