Photo by Josh Dobay Productions
Cloak and Dagger opened its doors just over two years ago, on Oct. 13, 2020.
Up against a worldwide pandemic and a supposedly cursed address, the vegan restaurant and cocktail bar nevertheless managed to find wild success. Owner Casey Gerber told Scene they've seen nothing but "overwhelming positivity" since the beginning.
Gerber and business partner Cory Hajde toured many buildings in the area before deciding on 2399 W. 11th St.
Gerber said she was indeed very hesitant in choosing this space at first because of its past — it had been home to nine businesses in 12 years. Despite its reputation, the building had good bones, a bar already built in, “a ton of good kitchen equipment,” and a great layout. The final selling point for Gerber: the two double doors in the front that bring in natural light and provide a great view of Lincoln Park across the street.
Gerber crystalized her vision to center the bar's theme around books, because of their freedom and various interpretations. Every few months, Cloak changes its menu but it typically reads like a book, with art throughout by Brian Barr.
Recently, Cloak extended the theme by using journals as check books. Some of these journals were gifted from Gerber’s mother and provide a story of their own. A special brown journal with gold floral was a gift from her mother’s first husband, who loved to draw and write her love notes. Inside, it reads: “I met the love of my life here”.
Gerber’s vision for a community-based restaurant that people want to spend time in is clear within Cloak's walls, from the small and welcoming space to the close-knit staff who come together to create the unique, ever-changing food and drink menus.
Around December 6, Cloak’s Christmas menu will be launched featuring many winter and fall flavors.
“I’ll just give you the name of it and if you get it you get it,” Gerber said. “It’s called Advanced Potion Making.”
That menu will roll on until early January when it will change again. The theme remains a secret for now, but the menu will feature 12 new cocktails and 5 from past menus.
Due to Cloak’s small footprint with seating for just four dozen, the best way to ensure a spot for dinner is to make a reservation.
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