This past weekend bourbon lovers united for a fun filled weekend with the Black Bourbon Society. In partnership with Jim Beam, Chicago was the second stop on the 5 city #Opendoortour. The tour embraces Jim Beam’s theme of “Welcoming Spaces” by spotlighting black-owned bars and restaurants that serve as cultural pillars in their respective communities.
Chicago #Opendoortour highlighted Restuarants
Friday Night Kickoff (July 9th) Celebrating the Jim Beam Highball
222 N Canal Street, Chicago IL 60606
Taste 222 is a full-service restaurant & event space focusing on unique experiences with an upscale vibe.
BBQ Lunch Cookout (July 10th) with Jim Beam!
1072 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642
Frontier serves American Classics & Wild Game. Patio & Beer Garden
Closing out the Open Door Chicago with a Boozy Jim Beam Brunch (July 11th)
Restauarant and bar bringing fun and thoughtful food experiences in a warm comfortable setting.
The Black Bourbon Society is a membership based group that bridges the gap between the spirits industry and African American Bourbon enthusiasts across the globe. The tiered membership organization is open to everyone that enjoys premium spirits and is interested in gaining a deeper appreciation for America’s Native Spirit. Black Bourbon Society is crafting a movement that showcases the value of the niche lifestyle and sophisticated palates within the African American Community and beyond.
Check out my one on one interview with the Black Bourbon Society founder Samara Bee Davis below.
Tavi J. One on One With Samara Bee Davis
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into whisky?
Where do I start? I’ve always been sort of an event planner and I started producing events. Things just kind of fell into place. Five years ago I was doing some subcontracting with an agency. When doing those events I found the need to keep producing events for a diverse audience because the events I was producing I wasn’t seeing a lot of diversity.
How I got into whisky was actually a little bit before that. I had the skill set to produce events, but I started falling in love with the spirit. I found this unique opportunity to sort of merry the two together. I started drinking whisky before I created Black Bourbon Society. I was on a trip and was introduced to it by one of the store owners in the liquor store. I was on a family trip (I had two small kids) and a hell of a day. This time it was something wine couldn’t quite cut. (LOL) In the middle of all of that the attendant told me what he thought I should purchase and he told me about Four Roses.
How did the Black Bourbon Society come about?
I started making cocktails, drinking whisky, loved the flavors and just started to fall into this rabbit hole of wanting to learn more about whisky. I started tasting all types of bourbons and then just fell in love with the process of how bourbon is made. This love of whisky developed all at once while I was able to work with an agency to produce these events. Then I wanted to make sure I was able to share my experiences and knowledge with people that look like me. That’s how Black Bourbon Society got started.
I’m looking forward to Open Door Chicago! Can you tell us a little bit more about the 5 City Open Door Tour and your partnership with Jim Beam?
I’m so excited about this partnership with Jim Beam. Jim Beam approached us last year. Not only were we in the middle of a pandemic but bars and restaurants were closed and we had to figure out a way to pivot. We also had this racial reckonwing in 2020 and understanding that black owned bars and restuarants were more disenfranchised and they weren’t getting the shine they deserve. So Jim Beam approached us about doing a campaign that really highlights the best African American bars and restaurants. We took on the challenge.
Jim Beam had this theme around welcoming spaces. We had to clarify that black owned bars and restauarants have always been welcoming. Whether some folks choose to come to those establishments or not is a different story, but our doors have always been open and that’s how we came up with the concept of the “Open Door” campaign. We just wanted to restate that claim that our doors are back open and we’ve always been a welcoming space.
The campaign is taking us to five different cities. We started in Detroit, next is Chicago, will be in New York next week, DC the following week and then 2 weeks after that will wrap up in Dallas. So will hit five markets and will be highlighting a black owned bar or restuarant for each weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).This is a great way to support local Black-Owned restaurants. All the money from Jim Beam and food sales go back to the restauarant establishments.
Make sure to follow along with the Black Bourbon Society
to see where they’re headed next!
More from my site