One prominent thing to know about Chicago is that residents only have very limited time to enjoy alfresco drinking at establishments. That timeframe’s technically fewer than three months. That’s why every outdoor venue around town is jam packed on warm days.
In the case of places like Fireside Restaurant, however, a drinking outing outside may be experienced yearround because the venue offers an all-weather patio with a retractable roof. The cozy Ravenswood neighborhood hang is especially popular for brunch and after-hours imbibing. Weekend brunch includes a festive build-your-own Bloody Mary bar with more than 250 ingredients. There are also five different types of Mimosa-inspired cocktails, including ones made with raspberry liqueur, freshly squeezed orange juice or pureed strawberries.
Perched atop Godfrey Hotel, I|O Urban Roofscape allows guests to indulge in sweeping views of downtown Chicago under a retractable rooftop. It’s a bit clubbier than many of the hotel rooftop venues, which means that there might be a bit of a wait on weekends. And most evenings it’s worth the wait—especially when you’re partying with a big group. That’s a great occasion to pitch in for a pitcher of one of the chef’s cocktails. Classic offerings of mojitos, daiquiri and the Moscow Mule are made with top-shelf spirits and premium ingredients.
They serve up to eight and make the ideal icebreaker on a chilly night on the town. And Hotel Lincoln’s glamorous J. Parker is situated directly between the Lincoln Park and Old Town neighborhoods. Though it’s located on a hotel property, the craft cocktail lounge draws a mostly local crowd, who comes for the spectacular lake and downtown views. J. Parker’s also heated, under a retractable roof, and offers a seasonal cocktail menu featuring small-batch spirits and ingredients. It’s one of Chicago’s most fabulous spots to gather for drinks before a big night on the town.
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Written by Audarshia Townsend