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You might as well be walking into a Wes Anderson film when you enter Estereo, where everything is tinted slightly yellow-gold and patterns—from tiled floors to detailing on the bar—make you feel like you’re on set. The all-day bar from Heisler Hospitality (Pub Royale, Sportsman’s Club, Trenchermen, Queen Mary Tavern) has a “leave your worries at the door” vibe that transports you to an island town where three old guys wearing oversized button-downs sit at the bar all day long. And you can sit all day long, too. The bar opens daily at 11am with coffee from Dark Matter and pastries like guava croissants and chocolate croissants, while afternoons offer a list of ten cocktails based on specific spirits.
Drinks come from Ben Fasman (Sportsman’s Club, Big Star) and Michael Rubel (Lone Wolf, Violet Hour), with spirits like pisco, cachaca, rum, tequila and mescal dominating the menu. The menu changes regularly, with one exception: the Breezy, a highball served in a branded plastic cup (this somehow feels fun and whimsical rather than childish or gimmicky) with your choice of spirit (gin and rum are our favorites), Yerba Mate, Falernum, lime and soda. It’s built to be an easy sipper year-round—light with just enough body to pull us through the cold winter.
The drinks are exceptional, but what really makes this place tick is its vibe. Music from a turntable fills the air with bright Latin-American tunes. Settle in at the large, triangle-shaped bar that dominates the space, or for a more intimate setting, snag one of the tables set along the perimeter for smaller groups. On a warm summer day, roll-up garage doors flank two sides, opening up the space even more to solidify the bar’s South American–style charm. When it’s chilly, the space is filled with a warm yellow light, a welcome respite from the winter gloom. The menu is painted on the wall, with ten simple cocktails named after their base spirits.
An all-day bar isn’t necessarily a brand new idea—plenty of hotels have their bar areas open all day long, but a standalone bar is fun. Having a space to stop by in the morning for coffee and a pastry, maybe get a little work done, go grab lunch, come back and order a cocktail—why not? In a neighborhood like Logan Square where you could easily spend the day, maybe this all-day thing is an idea that’ll catch on. With coffee and cocktail offerings, we’re more than a little tempted to consider planning an entire day sitting in Estereo.
Where to sit: Larger groups will struggle in this space, as most seating is designed for one or two guests. Get a seat at the bar if you’re able.
What to drink: Pick a spirit and go from there. Try the house specialty, the Breezy, then stick with your spirit of choice and see what concoction the bartenders come up with.
What to eat: In the morning, you can order from a light snack menu, but at night you’re on your own.
Atmosphere: Chill and laid-back with a modern, triangle-shaped bar and Latin-American touches.
2450 N Milwaukee Ave
|Transport:||El: Blue line to Logan Square. Bus: 56, 74.|
|Opening hours:||Sun 11am–12am, Mon–Fri 11am–2am, Sat 11am–3am|
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