Subway: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart(312) 321-1351 thegridchicago.com41.889916 -87.637565 351 W Hubbard St (between Orleans and Kingsbury Sts) River North, Chicago
Mon–Fri 5pm–2am; Sat 11am–3am; Sun 11am–2amAverage cocktail: $12
The signature features of this spiffy lounge beneath Baume & Brix restaurant are smokeless, “floating” fireplaces at the center of each oversize leather-booth alcove, where bottle service is de rigueur. Contemporary food matches the chic decor: “Jars” of warm crab dip or tuna served with shrimp crackers provide a much-needed reprieve from everyday bar food. On the downside, cocktails (for the non-bottle crowd at the communal tables) lean sweet and lack variety, and the untzz-untzz of the stereo system all but prohibits conversation. On the other hand, the servers all look like (or probably are) models. Call it a draw?