When you set foot inside Vol. 39, you might feel as though you’re stepping into a decadent cocktail bar from a bygone era. Our menu offerings, from impeccable craft cocktails to small plates, are versions of the classics with a modern twist and a hint of irreverence. Bound vintage law books and tufted leather couches are balanced by delicate details like intricate glassware and hanging lamps crafted from cut crystal decanters. It all makes for an intriguing atmosphere that feels grounded in history, but with a hint of something new to be discovered.
Chef Brian Millman hails from the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, where his passion for the culinary world was established during frequent visits to new restaurants with his foodie parents. Brian continued to nurture his love of food and restaurant culture through his education, which included a degree in Culinary Arts from Chicago’s own Kendall College.
After graduation, Brian laid the foundation for his professional career as an executive chef while under the guidance of acclaimed chef Jean Joho at the world-renowned Everest Restaurant.
As Executive Chef at Vol. 39, Brian brings with him more than 20 years of culinary experience and a passion for the “eat local” movement. He pulls inspiration from classic 1930s era canapés and hors d'oeuvres, imbued with a seasonal touch. When he’s not in the kitchen, Brian can be found gardening, traveling overseas with his wife and son, or rooting on the Blackhawks, Cubs and Bears.
Originally from New Jersey, Beverage Director Josh Relkin brings 15 years of industry experience and a wealth of knowledge and artistry to the craft cocktail, beer and wine programs at Boleo and Vol. 39.
With a hospitality career that began in the kitchen, Josh possesses a unique understanding of flavor and balance. He was first inspired by his older brother, a chef whose nightly culinary tales got him hooked on the energy and excitement found in the kitchen, to pursue a degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. From there, Josh worked in several acclaimed restaurants on the East Coast, including Per Se in New York and Restaurant Nicholas in New Jersey, before returning to Johnson & Wales to earn a secondary degree in culinary nutrition.
In 2009, Josh relocated to Chicago to work at the venerable Alinea as both a line cook and expediter, where he thrived in the fast-paced and intensely creative environment. In Chicago, he discovered his passion for craft cocktails and began working at Sable Kitchen & Bar, spending his days off staging behind the bar, while simultaneously working at The Aviary and The Office to develop the beverage programs. Furthering his passion, Josh accepted the position as head bartender at The Sixth, which was named Best New Cocktail Bar in 2016 by Time Out Chicago, and later Maude’s Liquor Bar before joining the opening team as head bartender at Proxi, where he curated a truly unique cocktail program.
Now as beverage director of Boleo and Vol. 39, Josh oversees both beverage programs, blending his culinary background with his innovative mixology techniques. He loves the creative aspect of menu creation and curating a guest’s experience from start to finish.
In his free time, Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, who he met while working at Sable Kitchen & Bar, and their cat and dog, Willett and Chartreuse.