We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe Briglio and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joe, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting Nine Bar with my partner Lily Wang really evolved organically over time. At its core the idea was simple, which is to provide an experience and nightlife option that currently was not available in Chicago’s Chinatown. We wanted to create a space where guests and residents of the neighborhood could enjoy a great cocktail, food, and music. Additionally, we have a whole other side of the business, Moon Palace Express, which is a traditional Chinese take out and delivery style restaurant. The thought process behind the dual concept was to honor the business the Wang family has spent the last 30 years building, but also to continue on in a way that feels authentic to us.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Nine Bar is an “Asian-ish” cocktail bar located behind a Chinese take out restaurant, Moon Palace Express, in Chicago’s Chinatown. My partner Lily Wang and I recently renovated her parents’ restaurant, Moon Palace, into the dual concept it now operates as. It was very important for us, and we feel a tremendous amount of pride, to be able to continue the legacy that her parents have built over the last almost 30 years in the neighborhood. It was also important for us to continue on in a way that felt authentic to us and our work experiences. We identified a need for a cocktail bar in the neighborhood, and realized that we had the opportunity to make that a reality. Operating throughout Covid as a pop up, and now through today in our space still feeling the effects of that, plus supply chain issues, etc. has not been easy. Each day seems to present a new set of challenges, but we are determined to face those head on to bring what we think every guest and resident of the neighborhood deserves…a well made cocktail and great music in an open and welcoming atmosphere.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
No visit to Chinatown is complete without a stop at Chiu Quon Bakery and then Triple Crown for dim sum. We’ve also been eating a lot of sushi from 312 Fish Market. Venturing out of the neighborhood a bit, Kasama is doing some of the most exciting food and pastries I’ve eaten over the last couple years and you can’t beat a cocktail from our friends at MoonFlower and Nightshade in Portage Park.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My partner Lily Wang, her parents Jones and Jennifer for entrusting us with their legacy, her brothers Daniel and Glenn for their support.

Website: https://www.ninebarchicago.com/

Instagram: @ninebarchicago @joebrigs

Image Credits
Peter Ranvestel Dan Korenevsky

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