New bars in Chicago: reviews of new cocktail bars and a brewery
From a hopping Lakeview brewery to a choose-your-own-adventure cocktail list, there's a new Chicago bar for every drinker. Here are four to check out tonight.
Every night you spend at a new bar is a night you're not at your tried-and-true watering hole. So before you deviate from your routine, we visited four new bars to assess them based on first impressions, drinks, eats and service. Here's the lowdown on Gallery Bar, Old Fifth, DryHop Brewery and the Berkshire Room.
FIRST IMPRESSION Surprisingly dead, at 1am on Friday, especially given how loud and packed neighboring bars were. By the time we got there, the DJ had removed her headphones and was simply shuffling through Top 40s on her laptop. But even if there had been more people, there didn’t appear to be enough room to dance anyway. The space is incredibly impressive, however, with graffiti covering one wall and the work of local artists adorning the others. The art includes a Paris Hilton look-alike in big undies, “Beauty and the Briefs,” by Brian Quinn.
DRINKS The drink menu is divided into beer cocktails and craft cocktails, with a small selection of bottled beers and wine. After ordering the Island Chill (Bacardi 8, Drambuie, rum, pineapple juice, quince grenadine), the bartender warned that it was a sweet drink. It was indeed sweet, the kind that completely masks the taste of alcohol, and with its creamy, thick texture, it’s like a tropical, adult smoothie.
EATS The kitchen was closed when we got there, but the street food-inspired menu features dishes such as salmon sashimi served with sweet and spicy tamari sauce.
SERVICE The lone bartender was charming and helpful, offering to split drinks in two glasses for friends and making sure we were okay with very sweet drinks.
THE TAB $10 for one cocktail. Food items range from $8–$15.—Amanya Maloba