Tip Top Tap | What’s up with that?
Is there a bar on top of the Allerton Hotel?
Ever since I moved to Chicago, I’ve seen the red neon sign tip-top-tap lighting up the skyline on the Mag Mile. Is there really a bar up there where I can get a drink?—R.N., South Loop
The sign atop the Allerton (701 N Michigan Ave, 312-440-1500) was first lit in the ’40s, when the hotel, which opened in 1924, was a bustling nightspot. Today its promise of cocktails high above the Mag Mile is a false one. The 23rd-floor lounge has been closed since the ’60s. The space where Don McNeill hosted guests such as Jimmy Stewart and Jerry Lewis on his Breakfast Club radio variety show is now a popular rental venue for wedding receptions and banquets. While the distinctive sign isn’t going anywhere (thankfully, the misleading neon was landmarked along with the rest of the Allerton in ’98), shoppers can still get served at the hotel’s M Avenue Lounge. Located on the second floor, the tap is not quite tip-top.