Meet Chicago’s Best Bartender

Courtesy of Andrea Bauer (Chicago Reader)
This impressive male specimen has just been declared the “Best Bartender” in Chicago. He is Jason Turley and he is my nephew and Godson. The only thing that problematic is the name of his signature drink: the Creepy Uncle.

Jason has always been a popular bartender and I am not in the least surprised by the recognition. The article notes that “the best bartenders aren’t necessarily tailor-vested stiff-necked chemists but warm-blooded mammals you’d actually want to drink with.” That would be Jason. He has had a magnetic personality and contagious sense of humor. However, I am contemplating legal action after reading his description of The Creepy Uncle: “PBR, bourbon shot & Awkward Silence . . . $7.”

This could be a matter of libel per quod. (Yes, this is a transparent attempt to make my nephew’s honor a legal question appropriate for posting). I assume that this is a reference to my brother Christopher. Then again it could be a matter of group libel. Given the small size of the group, it may work. One of the leading cases occurred in 1952 in a New York lawsuit. In Neiman-Marcus v. Lait, 13 FRD 311 (SDNY 1952), employees of that high-end story sued the author of a book titled “U.S.A. Confidential.” The book claimed that some of the models at the story and all of the saleswomen in the Dallas store were “call girls.” It further stated that most of the salesmen in the men’s department were “faggots.” The issue came down to the size of the group. With 382 saleswomen and models, the court found that the group was too large. However, with the 25 salesmen, the court found that an action could be maintained.

“Creepy” seems defamatory, though I could face a challenge under mitior sensus.

Turleys have always excelled in combination with alcohol — or at least that is the way we always remember it the next day. Jason’s success, of course, is entirely due to the guidance and influence of his Godfather. So, in many ways, this is really my own recognition.

Congrats Jason . . . now change the name. Why not “Annoying Aunt” or “Creepy Cousin”?

Photograph: Courtesy of Andrea Bauer (Chicago Reader)

29 thoughts on “Meet Chicago’s Best Bartender”

  1. Jonathan, I think you could include Tony, Tommy and myself in the group libel suit. Although I know it couldn’t possibly be anyone from our side of the family. I mean PBR’s! I haven’t had a PBR since grade school.

  2. tomdarch,

    Thanks for the restaurant recommendations. I’ll be traveling to Chicago in November for an NCTE Convention.


    Professor Turley aka Creepy Uncle,

    Congratulations to your nephew Jason! Does a talent for inventing drinks run in the Turley family?

  3. Professor,

    Did your family live in the Pattington? I think I may have babysat for you..

    Haley Willson

  4. Might his next creation might be something called “Manna from Hannah”?

  5. Has to feel great when the younger generation shows love and respect in “their” own way.

  6. Wait – I am well past the age of bar hopping but they now give fancy names & make a big deal out of a boilermaker? Makes me want to yell “GET OFF MY LAWN!”.

    Now you want a real drink, mix Cherricole cough syrup with Ripple, we called it a cripple.

    Congrats to the kid prof, he brings honor to a family trying to compensate for producing a lawyer 🙂

  7. tom, I checked the map to see where this neighborhood is. The neighborhoods in Chicago have certainly changed for the better. It has been a very long time since I have lived there. The artisan gelato shops have certainly sprung up everywhere along with the Asian yogurt shops.

  8. Buddha Is Laughing
    1, June 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Completely OT, but I saw an article last night about a place that serves rose ice cream. I’ve never had it, but I have had lavender ice cream which was just fantastic. I bet rose is good too.
    Not totally OT – 4 blocks north of the home of “the Creepy Uncle” is Black Dog Gelato – I don’t think I’ve seen rose hip or lavender there, but that’s exactly their style. Kids often scrunch up their noses at the flavors, but they’re worth trying – stuff like goat cheese cashew caramel and sesame fig chocolate chip. Last time I was there I had strawberry – but with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

    10 years ago, this neighborhood was certainly NOT home to “best bartender in the city” or “challenging flavored gelato”. More like a 40 in the hands of a gang member or some conventional gelato in a bowl in front of “Joey the Clown” Lombardo or relatives of the notorious Calabrese family.

Comments are closed.