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Date Night at Koval Distillery, Chicago

One of the reasons I have come to love How About We for Couples is the fact that the dates they offer are unusual and different. Most couples get into the same old rut of dinner and a movie, but my husband and I like things that are "different". We like to experience new things together.

 Our most recent date, today, was a tour of Koval Distillery, which is located in Chicago. I know, you had no idea there was a craft distillery on Chicago's Northside right? Well, there is and it is awesome. 
Koval is not your typical mass producing distillery. According to their site "Koval produces organic whiskey, liqueurs, and specialty spirits in Chicago's first distillery since the mid-1800's."
Koval has a nice variety of spirits to choose from.
Walking in the door, Koval's is charming and intriguing. The tour guide we had was fantastic, witty and extremely knowledgeable. I had researched Koval's prior to attending the tour and was happy to hear our guide speak about the history of the name, the business and the founders as well as the process they use in making their spirits. 
There was a full explanation of how all the spirits are made and what can make each type of spirit taste different, from the grains they use to the barrels they use.My husband and and I have done other tours, including the Jack Daniels tour in Tennessee. This tour was much more intimate and it was nice to see a company that believes in hand crafting. Everything they do is done by hand (minus the labels, although the machine is still hand operated. 

Another nice thing about the tour at Koval was the chance to sample the whiskey, bourbon, and liqueur along with tips on what they can be used in.
My husband and I really had a blast on our afternoon tour at Koval and plan on enjoying our coffee liqueur and orange blossom liqueur, well, as long as they last, which I have a feeling won't be too long! (I also couldn't resist a cute t-shirt!!).
I won't recommend a place unless I really believe in the quality of the experience.....go visit Koval Distillery.com and plan a date! You will love it.


Great Date Night at Tandem Felix Letterpress

Let me start by saying I adore old buildings. And as luck would have it one of our date nights was in the Pilsen neighborhood in a very old building. Date night officially started with a long, but always scenic, drive into the city. Dinner was at a greasy spoon and thank heaven we had no residuals after our meal! Our main activity for the night was set up through How About We for Couples and we headed over to Tandem Felix Letterpress which is housed in an old building, built in 1900. This building was once known as the Viviano Brothers Macaroni Factory. There are a lot of stories that go with this building and the owners (google tells quite a story).
Liz, the owner of Tandem Felix Letterpress, greeted us at the door and while we waited for two other couples she gave a run down of the building. The building itself is now known as Lacuna Artist Lofts and houses a brilliant mix of artists (from painters and sculptures to musicians and hair designers....they even have some general businesses in the building). The building is a wide open and spacious piece of artwork in itself.
Although updated, many of the fixtures are original including the service elevators and many of the doors. Along with some of the original elements in the building you will enjoy the artwork on some of the floors. 
I could sit in this place for hours!
After all the couples were assembled it was time to go up to Tandem Felix Letterpress.
TFL is absolutely adorable. You walk in and you feel like Alice in Wonderland. You just want to walk around and touch everything! TFL has some very old machines and many old typefaces. Their oldest machine is a 1920 Chandler & Price "New Style" platen printing press that they use to print invitations, coasters, and smaller detailed work. The oldest wood type they have is from the 1890s, it's an elongated slab serif that's around 7 inches tall! As Liz said "I like to think it was used in a wanted poster, but I can't be sure...", I would like to think that too! Overall Tandem Felix Letterpress has over 100 wood and metal typefaces...
 Typefaces are the letter blocks that are assembled and used on the machines to "print".
 Typefaces are made of both metal and wood, and come in a variety of sizes.

The press that we used was a 1960s Sign Press, which they use to make all of their posters (which, btw, you can buy if you do not have the time to go in and make your own).

Raised-and-reversed letters are inked and pressed against a sheet of paper to create an impression.

Letterpress printing done today is a tad rough, slightly coarse, fabulously raw and definitely unpredictable. It is totally successful when used to create design work that plays into the quirky demeanor of the medium and not against it.

What you get though, with Tandem Felix Letterpress, is more than some awesome posters.....although that is AWESOME! You get a phenomenal experience like no other, and research states couples that experience new things together have a happier relationship.Working with your hands on machines that have so much history etched into them is priceless. And Liz makes the evening interesting and fun. 
Tandem Felix Letterpress brings hands-on, fine art printing to Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Want a hot date? Want to see how cool printing can be? Check out their site!
Thanks Liz for a night we will never forget!