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Good lounge/place to drink downtown?

Good lounge/place to drink downtown?
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  • Good lounge/place to drink downtown?

    Post #1 - April 18th, 2006, 1:15 pm
    Post #1 - April 18th, 2006, 1:15 pm Post #1 - April 18th, 2006, 1:15 pm
    Sorry for the amateurish question. I'm drawing a complete blank. What would be a non-club, non-tourist, non-it's-my-21st-birthday lounge in the Loop for a Saturday night? It's for a girls night out...all the girls are late 20's, early 30's.

    Thanks!
  • Post #2 - April 18th, 2006, 1:44 pm
    Post #2 - April 18th, 2006, 1:44 pm Post #2 - April 18th, 2006, 1:44 pm
    TriGirl wrote:Sorry for the amateurish question. I'm drawing a complete blank. What would be a non-club, non-tourist, non-it's-my-21st-birthday lounge in the Loop for a Saturday night? It's for a girls night out...all the girls are late 20's, early 30's.

    Thanks!


    Well, just north of the Loop there are a few that come to mind:

    1. Sea of Happiness

    2. Zebra Lounge

    3. The Lounge which adjoins NoMi, in the Park Hyatt

    E.M.
  • Post #3 - April 18th, 2006, 1:45 pm
    Post #3 - April 18th, 2006, 1:45 pm Post #3 - April 18th, 2006, 1:45 pm
    For wine, there's Bin 36.

    For booze, maybe the new Lucky Strike in the River East AMC theater building. Booze + Bowling = fun.
  • Post #4 - April 18th, 2006, 1:50 pm
    Post #4 - April 18th, 2006, 1:50 pm Post #4 - April 18th, 2006, 1:50 pm
    Randolph Wine Bar would be a good choice. Also, the bar at the Peninsula is hard to beat, although last time I was there a lot of cigar smoking was going on; if that's an issue, you may be better off at Randolph.
    JiLS
  • Post #5 - April 18th, 2006, 2:28 pm
    Post #5 - April 18th, 2006, 2:28 pm Post #5 - April 18th, 2006, 2:28 pm
    Not to be picky, but none of those options are in the Loop. Though maybe the OP really meant "downtown"? I wish I could chime in with better suggestions, but the Loop is pretty much dead after work hours...
  • Post #6 - April 18th, 2006, 2:45 pm
    Post #6 - April 18th, 2006, 2:45 pm Post #6 - April 18th, 2006, 2:45 pm
    I like Nomi's lounge too but it's awfully small.

    Fulton Lounge is contemporary and caters to an older twenties/early thirties crowd.
    955 W Fulton Market

    or

    House of Blues Hotel Lounge sometimes has live music on the weekends. Space is very plush and ornate in an Indian theme I think.
    333 N Dearborn
  • Post #7 - April 18th, 2006, 3:00 pm
    Post #7 - April 18th, 2006, 3:00 pm Post #7 - April 18th, 2006, 3:00 pm
    Monk's is a solid drinking spot... no pretension, just a good place to drink. They serve food- burgers mainly. Free peanuts. 205 W. Lake St

    Miller's Pub is an old school joint, great barkeeps, decent food and great conversation at the bar... Free pretzels and mustard. 134 S. Wabash Ave

    Exchequer Pub- almost next door to Miller's. Decent pub food, relaxed atmosphere, great prices. 226 S. Wabash Ave

    South Water Kitchen has a nice bar - good service, excellent grub. It's more of a restaurant, but still a nice place to grab a drink. 225 N. Wabash Ave
  • Post #8 - April 18th, 2006, 3:03 pm
    Post #8 - April 18th, 2006, 3:03 pm Post #8 - April 18th, 2006, 3:03 pm
    Sushi samba is close to the loop and it has a lounge, both upstairs and downstairs. It's on Wells between Grand and Illinois.

    Victor Hotel is a couple of blocks away from Fulton Lounge and also might be a possibility.

    Saltaus is a bit further out 1350 W. Randolph but they have a nice lounge and are right across the street from Randolph Street Wine Cellars so you could do both if you wanted.

    The bar at the Hard Rock hotel is actually "in" the loop and generally has a pretty nice crowd on the weekends. Not crazy crowded but not dead like the rest of the loop either.
  • Post #9 - April 18th, 2006, 4:14 pm
    Post #9 - April 18th, 2006, 4:14 pm Post #9 - April 18th, 2006, 4:14 pm
    Never been there, but I heard the bar (Whiskey Blue) at the W hotel is very chic and modern (probably expensive though).

    Whiskey Blue
    172 W. Adams, Chicago
    Tel: (312) 782-4933

    Speaking of Adams street, isn't the Breghoff Bar supposed to re-open this week? If so, that might be a good choice.
  • Post #10 - April 18th, 2006, 4:36 pm
    Post #10 - April 18th, 2006, 4:36 pm Post #10 - April 18th, 2006, 4:36 pm
    I went to a book signing in Encore Liquid Lounge (encorechicago dot com) and thought it was comfortable and the drinks pretty good. Service excellent.
  • Post #11 - April 18th, 2006, 5:12 pm
    Post #11 - April 18th, 2006, 5:12 pm Post #11 - April 18th, 2006, 5:12 pm
    Not sure if you actually mean the Loop, specifically, or just downtown...The Loop's pretty dead on weekends and after 8:00pm in general. At any rate, assuming that you do mean the Loop, the following places are decent to above-average: Elephant & Castle (Adams and Clark), Rivers (in the Merc), the bar at One North in the UBS Building (Madison and Wacker), Coogan's (Wacker and Randolph), and the relatively new Sidebar Grille (221 N. LaSalle). Place to avoid: Cactus.
  • Post #12 - April 19th, 2006, 9:36 am
    Post #12 - April 19th, 2006, 9:36 am Post #12 - April 19th, 2006, 9:36 am
    Kasey's Tavern

    here's the metromix listing:

    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/sear ... 3677.venue

    but word "lounge" denotes club, non-tourist, it's-my-21st-birthday place ;)

    Tavern, now that word carries proper connotations!

    GW says it's all about the sharing so i'll give you a very cool, quieter, spot: the bar at Tutto Italiano--501 S Wells at Wells and Congress.

    Some scum Reader Restaurant Rater will probably write it up and ruin it now--just remember i did this for you TriGirl!

    Tell Claudia i sent you!
    -ep
  • Post #13 - April 19th, 2006, 10:10 am
    Post #13 - April 19th, 2006, 10:10 am Post #13 - April 19th, 2006, 10:10 am
    If you're looking for a bright atmosphere with mostly mature professional types, go to Bin 36... great place for drinks ...

    Other suggetsion (which gets pretty bad reviews on this site...) but its a good loungey place ...it gets more wild as the night gets later:

    Cabaret
    15 W Hubbard St
    Chicago, IL 60610
    (312) 245-3100
  • Post #14 - April 19th, 2006, 10:41 am
    Post #14 - April 19th, 2006, 10:41 am Post #14 - April 19th, 2006, 10:41 am
    Thanks...you guys are fantastic! Great suggestions! I'll throw these all out there. 8)
  • Post #15 - April 19th, 2006, 11:11 am
    Post #15 - April 19th, 2006, 11:11 am Post #15 - April 19th, 2006, 11:11 am
    It's been a couple years since I've been there, but when I worked downtown we used to go to Nick's Fishmarket now and then for drinks. It's in the Bank One plaza, or whatever they're calling it now, on Clark between Madison and Monroe.
  • Post #16 - April 19th, 2006, 12:09 pm
    Post #16 - April 19th, 2006, 12:09 pm Post #16 - April 19th, 2006, 12:09 pm
    my suggestion, if you dont mind a small amount of travel, is the Matchbox!

    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/sear ... 5609.venue


    again, metromix above
  • Post #17 - April 19th, 2006, 1:05 pm
    Post #17 - April 19th, 2006, 1:05 pm Post #17 - April 19th, 2006, 1:05 pm
    TriGirl could certainly get even more recommendations with a few more details. Are you looking for dressy or casual? Is this a meetup bar before you head out or the all nighter? Is this the cosmo crowd or shot and a beer or mixed group?

    However, those posters that suggest that the loop is dead at night really need to wake up and smell the year 2006. Granted in 1986 (or 1989 when I moved here) I would have agreed that finding a loop lounge was more difficult. Today, that is just not the case.

    Case in point, the re-vitalized State and Randolph Theatre District has spawned quite a few places. One example, Petterino’s, would be a perfect place to meet, particularly, if you met up just after all the theatre patrons left…say, about 8:30. It is an LEY restaurant, but comfortable lounge atmosphere. Many of the newer hotels that have sprung up in the last five years have at least a check-in and meet and greet lounges. Not some place I would want to spend a Saturday evening, but they have parking, a place to call and a few other amenities, like a concierge to make dinner/entertainment reservations if you want to head out after a drink.

    The loop is alive after dark, you just need to know where to look. River North, just a short walk is absolutely hopping.

    The myth that the loop is dead after dark, really needs to die.

    Petterino’s
    150 N. Dearborn
    Chicago (Illinois), Illinois 60601
    312/422-0150
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #18 - April 19th, 2006, 1:15 pm
    Post #18 - April 19th, 2006, 1:15 pm Post #18 - April 19th, 2006, 1:15 pm
    I'm not a big fan of the beer at Rock Bottom . But, their rooftop deck is a great place to have a drink or two.
  • Post #19 - April 19th, 2006, 1:55 pm
    Post #19 - April 19th, 2006, 1:55 pm Post #19 - April 19th, 2006, 1:55 pm
    Holly of Uptown wrote:It's been a couple years since I've been there, but when I worked downtown we used to go to Nick's Fishmarket now and then for drinks. It's in the Bank One plaza, or whatever they're calling it now, on Clark between Madison and Monroe.


    Yea, this was the place that came to my mind as well.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #20 - April 19th, 2006, 3:00 pm
    Post #20 - April 19th, 2006, 3:00 pm Post #20 - April 19th, 2006, 3:00 pm
    pdaane,

    With all due respect, I can tell you from personal experience (resulting from working late and on more weekends than I care to remember) that the Loop after 8:00pm at night (and on weekends in particular) is a ghost town. In fact, in my experience most (if not all) businesses in the Loop proper, with the exception of the hotels and places catering to the opera/theater crowd, aren't even open. The area around the State Street "theatre district" and Petterino's probably is livelier than the financial district, but I wouldn't go out of my way to spend a Saturday night there.
  • Post #21 - April 19th, 2006, 11:28 pm
    Post #21 - April 19th, 2006, 11:28 pm Post #21 - April 19th, 2006, 11:28 pm
    Actually, this is for my bachelorette party!! :D I didn't want to say the "b" word in my original post b/c I want the exact opposite of what typical bachelorette outings in Chicago entail.

    My two bridesmaids are both out of town so another friend was planning everything. We're doing dinner with my fiance and his buddies at the kitchen table of Smith and Wollensky. After dinner, the boys will head off to do whatever boys do :twisted: and the girls will do whatever it is we will do... :twisted: :twisted: :D

    Actually, I really just wanted a place that I could go to hang out with my friends. We're definitely a wine/cosmo kind of crowd. We're getting out of dinner around 9ish so I think we'll have time to hit a few of the suggestions below. :D
  • Post #22 - April 20th, 2006, 7:52 am
    Post #22 - April 20th, 2006, 7:52 am Post #22 - April 20th, 2006, 7:52 am
    I might also add the bar at the Hotel Sofitel. Fairly low-key, but upscale atmosphere, and excellent cocktails (certainly appropriate for "cosmo/wine" crowd).

    Edited to acknowledge that this is north of the loop.

    You might also want to consider Encore, attached to the Hotel Allegro on Randolph East of Wacker. Loungy, extensive "martini" list, and fairly vibrant when crowded.
  • Post #23 - April 20th, 2006, 8:43 am
    Post #23 - April 20th, 2006, 8:43 am Post #23 - April 20th, 2006, 8:43 am
    The bar at the Sofitel is an excellent recommendation, perhaps the best one yet. Encore also is decent (I was there for lunch yesterday). Bin 36 (previously mentioned and across the street from S&W) also sounds like a good choice. Perhaps a combination of these (or other) places would be most appropriate. TriGirl, I hope that you enjoy your big night.
  • Post #24 - April 20th, 2006, 10:40 am
    Post #24 - April 20th, 2006, 10:40 am Post #24 - April 20th, 2006, 10:40 am
    Ron A.: What's the problem with Cactus? Been in there once and find it hilarious that while they call it Cactus, the decor seems to be more Key West/Jimmy Buffett. A horrible consultant mixup in themes.

    No affiliation, just curious. :shock:
  • Post #25 - April 20th, 2006, 11:53 am
    Post #25 - April 20th, 2006, 11:53 am Post #25 - April 20th, 2006, 11:53 am
    TriGirl wrote:Sorry for the amateurish question. I'm drawing a complete blank. What would be a non-club, non-tourist, non-it's-my-21st-birthday lounge in the Loop for a Saturday night? It's for a girls night out...all the girls are late 20's, early 30's.

    Thanks!


    What night of the week?
    -Pete
  • Post #26 - April 20th, 2006, 12:05 pm
    Post #26 - April 20th, 2006, 12:05 pm Post #26 - April 20th, 2006, 12:05 pm
    Pete wrote:
    TriGirl wrote:Sorry for the amateurish question. I'm drawing a complete blank. What would be a non-club, non-tourist, non-it's-my-21st-birthday lounge in the Loop for a Saturday night? It's for a girls night out...all the girls are late 20's, early 30's.

    Thanks!


    What night of the week?


    I'm guessing Saturday. :wink:
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #27 - April 20th, 2006, 12:08 pm
    Post #27 - April 20th, 2006, 12:08 pm Post #27 - April 20th, 2006, 12:08 pm
    Vervante, Cactus actually is a perfectly acceptable after-work watering hole if you're a 20-something looking for a rowdy, in-your-face type of atmosphere (and don't mind a crowd consisting mainly of traders and assorted meatheads). I used to go there quite a bit in my younger days.

    Incidentally, the Wells Street location (the original Cactus) is closed on weekends (further evidencing my "Loop is dead on weekends" theory). The Cactus on State Street, near Melvin B's, is a great outdoor drinking establishment. Since this forum primarily is about food, I probably should mention that I wouldn't eat at either of these establishments unless, for some other reason, I was starving and had no other choice but to do so.
  • Post #28 - April 20th, 2006, 12:12 pm
    Post #28 - April 20th, 2006, 12:12 pm Post #28 - April 20th, 2006, 12:12 pm
    TriGirl wrote:Actually, this is for my bachelorette party!! :D I didn't want to say the "b" word in my original post b/c I want the exact opposite of what typical bachelorette outings in Chicago entail.

    My two bridesmaids are both out of town so another friend was planning everything. We're doing dinner with my fiance and his buddies at the kitchen table of Smith and Wollensky. After dinner, the boys will head off to do whatever boys do :twisted: and the girls will do whatever it is we will do... :twisted: :twisted: :D

    Actually, I really just wanted a place that I could go to hang out with my friends. We're definitely a wine/cosmo kind of crowd. We're getting out of dinner around 9ish so I think we'll have time to hit a few of the suggestions below. :D


    Well if you are already going to be outside of the Loop and like the wine/cosmo thing I'd suggest considering going a few blocks north to the Redhead Piano bar. It's a nice, comfortable space with a friendly staff and the music is usually pretty good (and doesn't overpower the space - you can still have conversation).

    Redhead Piano Bar
    16 W. Ontario (between State & Dearborn)
    (312) 640-1000
    http://www.redheadpianobar.com/
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #29 - April 20th, 2006, 12:13 pm
    Post #29 - April 20th, 2006, 12:13 pm Post #29 - April 20th, 2006, 12:13 pm
    Ron A. wrote:Vervante, Cactus actually is a perfectly acceptable after-work watering hole if you're a 20-something looking for a rowdy, in-your-face type of atmosphere (and don't mind a crowd consisting mainly of traders and assorted meatheads). I used to go there quite a bit in my younger days.

    Incidentally, the Wells Street location (the original Cactus) is closed on weekends (further evidencing my "Loop is dead on weekends" theory). The Cactus on State Street, near Melvin B's, is a great outdoor drinking establishment. Since this forum primarily is about food, I probably should mention that I wouldn't eat at either of these establishments unless, for some other reason, I was starving and had no other choice but to do so.


    I can absolutely, positively guarantee you that the Cactus at 404 S. Wells is not closed on weekends. I'm there quite often on Sundays.
    -Pete
  • Post #30 - April 20th, 2006, 12:23 pm
    Post #30 - April 20th, 2006, 12:23 pm Post #30 - April 20th, 2006, 12:23 pm
    Pete, I took the information from their website (perhaps it needs updating). I always was under the impression that it was closed on weekends (I remember going to a private party there on a Saturday and the area was desolate). Maybe this has changed with the influx of people into the South Loop. Ironically, Metromix says that they're open on Saturday and closed Sunday.

    http://www.dontdrinkandtrade.com/gen_in ... _info.html

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