Hotel bars carry a certain stigma: uninspired, übercorporate settings designed for business-class nightcaps after a long day of traveling. Bland, pedestrian—no thanks. But not all hotel bars are created equal, and some are even starting to compete with Chicago's best bars. These new gems at some of the city's finest lodgings pull out all the stops to present a top-notch experience. Be careful, though. You may find yourself wanting to grab a room for a quick staycation by the end of the night.
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Sit at the bar or grab a table overlooking Michigan Avenue on the rooftop of this sprawling high-rise hotel standing tall between Rush Street and the Magnificent Mile. Dark spirits are the theme, in case the whiskey-filled cabinets in the entrance didn’t tip you off. The bar is so serious about its whiskey, in fact, that it has its own exclusive series of bourbon, Baptiste, from Ravenswood’s KOVAL Distillery. Ordering either of the premium cocktails on the menu—the Huntsman or A Curtsy and a Bow—will prompt a visit from the mobile bourbon bar complete with theatrics as the bartender tops the drinks with a dry-ice “Tonka fog” or a rooibos tea smoke.
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