Bandit—the latest project from the restaurateur heavyweights behind Prime & Provisions, Siena Tavern and Barrio—is an exercise in contradictions. It’s an upscale dive bar, a nightlife spot with seriously great food, a place where servers will simultaneously dish out sass while catering to your every whim. “A dive bar is a shoddy hole-in-the-wall where everything is mismatched and there’s a certain smell to it,” says Lucas Stoioff, principal and partner of DineAmic Hospitality. “We’re taking the DNA of that but bringing it together in a way that’s more deliberate and artistic. And still charming.”
The gears started churning when Stoioff and fellow DineAmic principal and partner David Rekhson noticed a void in the Randolph Street corridor that they felt an effortlessly cool bar could fill. The notion dovetailed with their overarching philosophy of never saying no. “The first thing we talk about in training is how to always figure out a way to accommodate people,” Rekhson notes; they’d happily fulfill requests for everything from a pack of cigarettes from a nearby corner store to off-menu pancakes for dinner. The former Gideon Sweet space proved a perfect fit for the concept, with a snug interior and a real stunner of a back patio.
Chef Shane Graybeal (Sable Kitchen & Bar) serves up polished riffs on comfort food—think tater tots topped with caviar and French onion crema, and pull-apart sliders served on a crystal cake stand—while the drink program follows suit (Mai Tais sent aflame, anyone?). Don’t forget the eclectic musical acts that play into the night—Bandit keeps the party going after the dinner crowds have dispersed. “It’s nothing too serious or cerebral,” Rekhson says. “We want people to come here for the first time and feel like they’ve been a million times before.” 841 W. Randolph St.