If there's one thing Chicagoans will never turn down it's another place to drink.
We're always getting spoiled by the number of notable new bars that pop up in Chicago. These are the recently opened bars making big blips on our radars.
Photo via Facebook/Utopian Tailgate
1608 N. Wells St. - Old Town
It should come as no surprise that Old Town's latest rooftop bar is the destination for drinkers and diners in the neighborhood right now. Located above Second City, The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group's latest concept has it all: a beautiful skyline view, an outdoor patio for summer months, indoor seating for year-round visits, adult drinking games like Flip Cup, a menu that will make you rethink the term "bar food" (in a good way)—even heady cocktails like the CBD infused Gin And Chronic.
The new hangout is meant to be an ode to all things tailgating (if you couldn't tell from the title) with clever nods like a beer mini-keg (to share) served in a throwback plastic cooler. Make it your first stop the next time you need a pre-gaming option. It might just wind up becoming the evening's main event.
Gin And Chronic Cocktail / Photo: Sarah Zelman/Utopian Tailgate
Photo via Facebook/King Of Cups
2238 N. Lincoln Ave. - Lincoln Park
A new classy cocktail joint has begun its rein along Lincoln Avenue in to fill the void left by Barrelhouse Flat earlier this year. King Of Cups' medieval theme and tiki-style drinks create an odd but comforting balance. The bar’s dark wood accents, elaborate candelabras and daily tarot readings transport you to a different time while cocktails like the Rococo Rush (coconut-infused rum, chardonnay, tiki bitters, absinthe, demerara and toasted nutmeg) transport you to the tropics.
Photo via Instagram/Middle Brow Beer Co.
2840 W. Armitage Ave. - Logan Square
Middle Brow Beer Co.’s long-awaited brewpub has finally arrived in Logan Square. In addition to finally having a true home in which to concoct its brews, the pub also offers coffee in the morning, artisanal bread and pretty delicious pizza.
Photo via Facebook/Right Bee Cider
1830 N. Kostner Ave. - Hermosa
Chicago’s cidery game has needed bolstering for some time, but it recently got a major boost thanks to Right Bee Cider’s highly anticipated taproom. Find rotating specialties on tap and purchase growlers of old favorites at this Hermosa hang.
Photo via Facebook/Kumiko
630 W. Lake St. - West Loop
Time recently dubbed Kumiko—a new West Loop bar and restaurant from the team behind Oriole—as one of the “World’s 100 Greatest Places.” We won’t attempt to come up with a more prestigious accolade, but we do recommend you try it for yourself.
Photo: Peter Ranvestal via Bandit
841 W. Randolph St. - West Loop
Now open in the space that formerly housed Graham Elliot’s Gideon Sweet, Bandit is West Loop’s version of a nostalgic neighborhood bar. That is to say there is both avocado toast and Miller High Life on the menu. The interior offers an approachable attitude that mirrors that of the neighborhood corner bars that came before it.
Photo via Facebook/Offshore
1000 E. Grand Ave. - The Loop
Navy Pier’s new 21+ destination has officially made its way into the Guinness Book Of World Records as the “World’s Largest Rooftop Bar.” The 36,000-square-foot behemoth offers unsurprisingly stunning views of the city’s skyline. If you can’t make it there in time to enjoy “rooftop weather,” the all-seasons space will finally give you a reason to visit the pier during the winter.
Photo via Facebook/City Hall
838 W. Kinzie St. - Fulton Market
Fulton Market’s City Hall is big enough to hold both public and private event spaces. The public portion of the new bar and restaurant has clever odes to Chicago and the real city hall like large-format cocktails served in water coolers and Parking Tickets Tuesdays (get 20% off your bill when you bring in a recently distributed dreaded orange envelope). It’s a charming hang in a sizeable space that reminds you just how popular the neighborhood has become.
Photo via Facebook/Asadito
30 N. Clinton St. - West Loop
Asadito’s acclaimed “2,000 margarita options” might be slightly misleading. The new tacos and tequila bar in West Loop has but eight margaritas on the menu, however, should you be confident enough to request a substitution, the bar’s extensive collection of tequilas and mezcals ultimately means you can create up to 2,000 different combinations. That said, any margarita we’ve had from this spot has been more than satisfying so it’s got our boozy vote.
Photo via Facebook/LakeBreeze At Osterman Beach
5801 N. Lake Shore Dr. - Edgewater
LakeBreeze opened late in the 2019 summer season but it’s already one of our favorite new spots along Lake Michigan. The outdoor cafe and bar brings beer, wine, frozen cocktails and bites to Osterman Beach. If you missed your chance to check it out this year, in the future the seasonal business will be open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Photo via Facebook/Pilot Project Brewing
2140 N. Milwaukee Ave. - Logan Square
Pilot Project Brewing offers a new, but familiar model—an incubator space, but for breweries. The 24-tap bar space in Logan Square will, of course, feature Pilot Project’s own beers but will also give other small-batch breweries a place to showcase their stuff. Think of it as a bar crawl that eliminates the annoyance of walking from place to place.
Photo via Facebook/Le Nocturne
4810 N. Broadway - Uptown
Le Nocturne introduces some much-needed nightlife back to the Uptown neighborhood. The versatile space combines the laidback vibes of a lounge spot with spacious booths and couch-filled outdoor patio space and a late-night dancefloor that keeps the energy revved up until last call. A food menu is even in the works, making it the perfect spot for whatever your nightly needs may be.
Photo via Facebook/Love Street
1325 W. Wrightwood Ave. - Lincoln Park
Between Love Street’s hot pink barstool cushions and chairs, creative but easily navigated cocktail menu and the bar’s casual, amiable attitude, we’re really digging this spunky new drinking hole.
Photo via Facebook/Midwest Coast Brewing Company
2137 W. Walnut St. - West Town
West Town's wealth of breweries has expanded even further with the opening of Midwest Coast Brewing Company's beautiful new industrial-style taproom. You can always find Midwest Coast's core brews—CHI.P.A, The Colonies British Ale, The Holly Shed Saison, Local Time Blonde Ale and Elevator to Nowhere Hazy IPA—here. However, with 12 taps available behind the bar, that leaves plenty of room for rotating specials. You never know what they'll be pouring.
Photo via Facebook/The Laurel Room
640 N. LaSalle Dr. - River North
The team behind Pacific Standard Time—one of our favorite restaurant openings of 2018—have quite literally elevated themselves with their newest concept. The new eighth-floor rooftop oasis is perched above its predecessor in the heart of River North. While its obvious hideaway appeal is the primary reason to visit this little oasis, the drinks and seafood-heavy food menu deliciously round out the experience.