Wade McElroy  

Managing Partner // Director of Beverage Operations at Heisler Hospitality

At Sportsman's Club, the first project to launch in Heisler Hospitality's (Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner) neighborhood tavern series, managing partner and beverage director, Wade McElroy, along with partner Jeff Donahue, takes on the challenge of creating balanced, compelling cocktails using minimal ingredients. Joining the project in early 2013 after meeting Eisler and Heisner while on the opening team at Trenchermen, McElroy is able to bring this philosophy to life, shying away from trendy kitchen-focused techniques and harking back to a more classic style of bartending.

An Arizona native, McElroy started working in the hospitality industry while studying sociology at Arizona State University. After graduation, he moved to New York City and immersed himself in venues that were passionate about the craft of cocktails, including The Standard, The Dutch, and Rye House, where he honed his classic, restrained approach under respected bartenders Jim Kearns and Naren Young.

McElroy moved to Chicago in 2011 and helped open Barrelhouse Flat, which was named one of Esquire's "Best Bars in America." It was there that he also met fellow Sportsman's Club partner/beverage director Jeff Donahue and learned that they shared similar sensibilities towards service and appreciated the same qualities in bars.

Jeff Donahue                      

Managing Partner // Director of Beverage Operations at Heisler Hospitality

Jeff Donahue has always appreciated a simple, straightforward cocktail and gravitated toward the idea that less is more. As managing partner and beverage director at Sportsman's Club, the first venue in Heisler Hospitality's (Matt Eisler and Kevin Heisner) neighborhood tavern series, Donahue hones in on this approach, bringing the focus back to the basics and the back bar. Rounding out Sportsman's Club's beverage program, Donahue also draws on his extensive sommelier experience to select the bar's thoughtful terroir-driven wine offerings, available by the glass and for carry-out.

Donahue graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in psychology and moved to Chicago in 2004. He started working under cocktail veteran Adam Seger at Nacional 27 then served as general manager and beverage director at Province, followed by opening manager at James Beard award-winning bar The Aviary. In 2011, Donahue assisted in opening Barrelhouse Flat, where he first met fellow Sportsman's Club partner/beverage director Wade McElroy and found that they shared similar approaches to bartending. They pushed each other to further develop their voices and styles and have since carried over this collaborative nature of drink making to Sportsman's Club. In 2012, Donahue was recognized on Zagat's '30 Under 30' list for his work in the beverage industry.

jacyara de oliveira

Head Bartender / Bar Manager

Jacyara de Oliveira has been involved in the beverage industry of Chicago for the last 5 years. She started as a barback and server at the esteemed cocktail lounge and restaurant, the Drawing Room, where she learned the world of spirits and cocktails from the best in the business. She later moved on to bartend at several locations throughout the city including Perennial Virant, Belly Q and Folklore, always picking up new techniques and strategies for efficient and innovative bar work.

In May 2015, de Oliveira was the winner of Speed Rack Chicago and joined the StarChef Rising Stars class of 2015. She also currently works with the San Francisco based Bon Vivants, for whom she is the Chicago ambassador for Ancho Reyes, Encanto Pisco, Tequila Ocho and Mandarine Napoleon. In 2014, she was recognized as one of Food and Wine's “Rising Stars” as well as one of the “Women to Watch” in the bar world. Jacyara's role of Bar Manager at Sportsman's Club is one in which she takes great pride and this is clearly just the beginning for her.

Graham Heubach

General Manager

Graham Heubach has spent the majority of his working life in the food and beverage realm, beginning as a 15-year old barista at a suburban coffee shop, moving to the urban equivalent, then finally taking the leap to full on restaurant work at The Gage. After working nearly every front-of-house position, Graham made the move to the bar and eventually became part of the opening team at The Dawson.

In the spring of 2014, Graham was invited to join the Sportsman’s Club team and fell in love with the ethos of the bar. The emphasis on casual, unpretentious service, backed by knowledge and skill, held a great deal of appeal. Moving into the General Manager role in 2015, Graham seeks to reinforce the communal aspects of the classic Chicago-style neighborhood tavern as a meeting place, fostering a convivial environment first and foremost, while also providing tasty libations.