A little bit of everything for everyone can be found at Band of Bohemia, the first brewpub to ever be awarded a Michelin star. The brainchild of two former Alinea vets, this Ravenswood culinary brewhouse is the place to go for beer lovers, and also for those who don’t like beer. According to corporate concierge Rachel Luckett, it’s a perfect combination. The menu here features Band of Bohemia’s own inventive house beers, brewed with ingredients ranging from coriander and basmati rice to pear puree and the thoughtful cocktail and wine lists are not to be overlooked. Oh, and the fare is no slouch either.
No, Not the Actual River
For a fine selection of craft cocktails, elevated light bites, and a stunning view of the city that he feels oftentimes goes unappreciated, Ramon Gomez, chef concierge at The Gwen, suggests bellying up at GreenRiver. Nestled above Streeterville on the 18th floor of a Northwestern Medical Center building, the cocktail menu here is arranged by key ingredient (i.e. juniper, rye, agave, etc.) and within each are masterfully-crafted cocktail selections which are named for a person or event in Chicago’s history. Timothy Myers, concierge at the Embassy Suites Chicago Lakefront is also a fan, and recommends snagging a spot at the bar to watch the mixologists working their magic in preparing the cocktails.
Looking to delve into an era passed? Then LondonHouse Chicago’s chef concierge Shannon Boland suggests you venture to the basement of the historic Green Door Tavern (a former speakeasy) into the subterranean cocktail lair that is The Drifter. This new cocktail lounge is brimming with turn-of-the-20th-century memorabilia. Their cocktail program offers a fun, unique twist as each drink selection is printed on a deck of Tarot cards, with a new set being offered every night. What cocktail will be you enjoying tonight? Let the cards tell you. The space also plays host to a number of eclectic and eccentric live performances that run sporadically every evening.
Hemingway Would Approve
Harking back to the glory days of hotel lobby bars, Hotel Palomar concierge Mark Kraemer recommends the Gold Coast’s Sparrow. A 1930s-era rum-focused cocktail bar, the environs here are as impressive as their creations. Kraemer says you’d be remiss not to try the La Florita made with Panama white rum, maraschino, lime, grapefruit, and whirled with crushed ice for a truly transportive experience.
A Boozy River North Retreat
If you’re looking for a sleek craft cocktail lounge, Boland also recommends Berkshire Room. Named for the hotel that once stood on its plot, this River North hot spot is known for its boozy cocktails and boisterous, yet effectively soft and sexy, living-room-style lounge atmosphere. Here you’ll find a potent cocktail program that stands high as it probes the imbiber with a trilogy of decisions. Classic cocktails, barrel-aged concoctions, and a dealer’s choice—where you choose the spirit, profile, and glassware and let the cocktailians do the rest.