Chicago After Dark: Best Nightlife, Bars and Lounges

Chicago After Dark: Best Nightlife, Bars and Lounges

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A Nightlife map by

The Second City has hit its boozy stride. These days you can hardly walk a block without passing a packed new bar. It's a full-on drinkable renaissance for everyone.

6 Places
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    The Thalia crew may have pulled a sneak-attack opening with their new West Loop bar and adjoined cafeteria-style eatery, but the bar is anything but quiet in the early going. Lines snake outside the building to try three top cocktailers' classics and originals in a comfortable drinking setting.
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    Live blues and jazz and luxe cocktails come together at the speakeasy lounge below The Hampton Social in River North. Enter through a tobacco shop and kick back with a group on couches or at the bar.
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    A cocktail bar both retro-trendy and sophisticated enough for hipper neighborhoods, the swanky Gold Coast has one of the best new bars in town with the Cuban hotel-themed Sparrow.
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    Greenriver brings an NYC superstar collaboration to Chicago from Danny Meyer's Union Square Events and the team behind heralded bar The Dead Rabbit. The swanky Irish concept on an 18th floor Streeterville terrace has cocktails only named for base spirits, main ingredients, and flavor profiles. Don't miss the brand new second bar Annex either.
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    Miami's James Beard-nominated hotspot brings versions of its delicious culinary-focused cocktail program to a cozy clubhouse-feeling room in the back of the new Freehand hostel, where the Tokyo Hotel stood for decades. Try the Cocoa Puff Old Fashioned, "Da Mickey Finn Bird," the "Chicago Politics" that's like a Thai curry served in a brass pineapple, and the food.
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    Recently joining the many other fun drinking and eating spots in the gorgeous Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Milk Room is a cocktail adventure rarely experienced anywhere. Only eight secluded ticketed seats get to experience Paul McGee's rare booze-fueled cocktail journeys, which begin with an amuse drink and include small bites.
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