No matter the time or occasion, Chicago likely has a bar that’s a perfect fit for you. But if you’re looking for a new lounge or bar to visit, check out these three entries. Promising to mix the right amount of personality with ridiculous wine lists and really good food, we’ve already started a tab in our heads at these new Chi-town hangouts.
The Boarding House
Wine is the foundation of River North’s four-story The Boarding House, a restaurant and bar from Master Sommelier Alpana Singh that opened at the tail end of 2012. Joined by a top-notch culinary team and sommelier Dan Pilkey (formerly of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria Chicago), Singh has crafted a 450-bottle wine list and menus full of hearty dishes such as poutine served various ways (executive chef Christian Gosselin is from Quebec City). Even more impressive: the ceilings’ art installations, one of which incorporates more than 4,000 wine bottles.
Sumi Robata Bar
This buzz-worthy hot spot opened in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in January with a satisfyingly split personality. Upstairs, the focus is on the precision of Japanese robata grilling. Downstairs, Charcoal Bar is an 11-seat haven where cocktail shokunin (craftsman) Matthew Lipsky serves signature cocktails, sake and other spirits using traditional Japanese bartending methods.
Three Dots and a Dash
Nearby Sumi Robata Bar, this craft tiki bar from Chicago mixologist Paul McGee is slated to open in mid-May. It will reside under Bub City, the new barbecue bar where McGee also oversees drinks. Expect the beverage list at Three Dots and a Dash to offer some classics and some original takes on tiki—all served in whimsical glassware that ups the sophistication of bamboo and palm trees.
Photos Courtesy of Sumi Robata Bar and Three Dots and a Dash