Chicago’s essential new cocktail bars, brewpubs, and barstaurants | Food & Drink Feature | Chicago Reader

Food & Drink » Food & Drink Feature

Chicago’s essential new cocktail bars, brewpubs, and barstaurants

The 21 recently opened bars where you should be drinking.

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment
Annex at GreenRiver - COURTESY GREENRIVER
  • Courtesy GreenRiver
  • Annex at GreenRiver

Annex at GreenRiver | Streeterville

Intimate adjunct to GreenRiver featuring exclusive cocktails from head bartender Julia Momose and a limited but luxe menu from chef Aaron Linette. Read the full review >>

Appellation - ANDREW NAWROCKI
  • Andrew Nawrocki
  • Appellation

Appellation | Andersonville

The cheese-focused wine bar adjunct to the Pastoral outpost in Andersonville. Read the full review >>

Band of Bohemia - JAMIE RAMSAY
  • Jamie Ramsay
  • Band of Bohemia

Band of Bohemia | Ravenswood

A "culinary brewhouse" dedicated to craft beer pairings with "elevated" cuisine (executive chef Matt DuBois is a veteran of El Ideas). There's also a coffee bar open till 2 PM Monday through Saturday. Read the full review >>

Best Intentions - BARRY BRECHEISEN
  • Barry Brecheisen
  • Best Intentions

Best Intentions | Logan Square

The former Marble is now a self-proclaimed "fancy cocktail bar," though the patio remains. Read the full review >>

The Betty - ERIC KLEINBERG
  • Eric Kleinberg
  • The Betty

The Betty | Fulton Market

A gorgeous, spacious, comfortable space to await your dinner reservation in the Fulton Market district, from the folks behind Bangers & Lace. Read the full review >>

Booze Box - COUSINDANIEL.COM FOR SUSHI DOKKU
  • CousinDaniel.com for Sushi Dokku
  • Booze Box

Booze Box | West Loop

Izakaya in the basement of Sushi Dokku, serving Japanese drinking snacks along with beer, wine, and saki. Read the full review >>

Breakroom Brewery - ANDREA BAUER
  • Andrea Bauer
  • Breakroom Brewery

Breakroom Brewery | Irving Park

Breakroom's rear windows look in on a custom bar-making woodshop and all the fearsome machinery within, and the massive 40-foot bar built of petrified wood and sapele (a sustainable alternative to mahogany) has its own windows, with a view of the brewing tanks. Read the full review >>

The Broken Shaker - ADRIAN GAUT
  • Adrian Gaut
  • The Broken Shaker

The Broken Shaker | River North

The chichi cocktail spot in the Freehand Hotel feels like hanging out in a midcentury-modern furniture store. Read the full review >>

Corridor Brewery & Provisions - ANTHONY TAHLIER
  • Anthony Tahlier
  • Corridor Brewery & Provisions

Corridor Brewery & Provisions | Lakeview

Brewpub from DryHop Brewers featuring "rustic farmhouse" food—locally sourced sandwiches and hearth-oven-baked pizzas. Read the full review >>

Crown Tap Room - LOGAN JAVAGE
  • Logan Javage
  • Crown Tap Room

Crown Liquors | Avondale

The folks behind Dante's Pizza and the Rocking Horse took over Crown and turned a dumpy liquor-store/dive bar into a less dumpy liquor-store/dive bar with lots of charm—and foosball and that really fun Addams Family pinball machine. Read the full review >>

PHILIP MONTORO
  • Philip Montoro

Empirical Brewery | Ravenswood

Now equipped with a taproom and offering tours, Empirical approaches beer as serious science. Read the full review >>

Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery - BJ PICHMAN
  • BJ Pichman
  • Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery

Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery | West Town

Brewpub at the botanically focused brewery Forbidden Root. Read the full review >>

The Heavy Feather
  • The Heavy Feather

The Heavy Feather | Logan Square

Modeled after the so-called "fern bars" that rose to faddish popularity in the late 1970s and early '80s, Heavy Feather is decked out in dark wood, booths with tufted cushions, Tiffany-style glass lamps, peacock-feather-patterned wallpaper, and (of course) green plants peeking out of every nook. Read the full review >>

Lost Lake - CLAYTON HAUCK
  • Clayton Hauck
  • Lost Lake

Lost Lake | Avondale

With Martinique-patterned wallpaper, pufferfish lamps, and a knowledgeable staff, the Land and Sea Dept. tiki joint directed by Paul McGee and Shelby Allison is a dreamy escape from urban drabness. Read the full review >>

Magnetic Pole Reversal at Mezcaleria Las Flores - JAY SCHROEDER/COURTESY H2 PR
  • Jay Schroeder/Courtesy H2 PR
  • Magnetic Pole Reversal at Mezcaleria Las Flores

Mezcaleria Las Flores | Logan Square

Former Frontera bar manager Jay Schroeder is behind this mezcal- and tequila-focused spot adjacent to Johnny's Grill. Read the full review >>

Paul McGee at the Milk Room - COURTESY THE MILK ROOM
  • Courtesy the Milk Room
  • Paul McGee at the Milk Room

The Milk Room | Loop

Paul McGee-directed "microbar" inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Read the full review >>

Presidio - COURTESY PRESIDIO
  • Courtesy Presidio
  • Presidio

Presidio | Bucktown

At this cocktail barstaurant that's supposed to remind you of San Francisco, there are a few nice, arty shots of the Golden Gate Bridge on the walls, and some classic cocktails that were first created in the City by the Bay. Read the full review >>

Pub Royale - ANDREA BAUER
  • Andrea Bauer
  • Pub Royale

Pub Royale | Ukrainian Village

The impressive, ever-changing selection of two-dozen drafts is only the main draw at Heisler Hospitality's take on the subcontinental British colonial pub. Read the full review >>

Queen Mary Tavern - COURTESY HEISLER HOSPITALITY
  • Courtesy Heisler Hospitality
  • Queen Mary Tavern

Queen Mary Tavern | Wicker Park

Part of the growing Heisler Hospitality regime, the maritime-themed craft-cocktail bar should probably feel a lot kitschier. Read the full review >>

The Spaceman Spiff at the Sixth - CHRIS RIHA
  • Chris Riha
  • The Spaceman Spiff at the Sixth

The Sixth | Lincoln Square

The Sixth's beverage director, Benjamin Schiller, who lives in the area, wanted to create for Lincoln Square a neighborhood cocktail bar, and this place feels like one. Read the full review >>

Tack Room - STEVE SCAP
  • Steve Scap
  • Tack Room

Tack Room | Pilsen

The name's a sly reference to the building's 19th century heritage as a carriage house, but there's no horse tack to be found in this cozy, candlelit addition to Thalia Hall. Read the full review >>

v


Add a comment