It's just a block away from the bustling Clark Street corridor of Andersonville, but the stretch of Balmoral Avenue that Nobody's Darling occupies feels somewhat isolated from the rest of the neighborhood. That's likely a part of the appeal for the crowds of folks that show up to this queer, Black women-owned cocktail bar, which took over the space once occupied by Joie De Vine.
Named for an Alice Walker poem that celebrates "outcasts" and individualistic folks of all tripes, this narrow cocktail bar was concieved as a welcoming hangout, outfitted with sexy chandeliers and plenty of tables lining the sidewalk for those who prefer drink outdoors.
Every cocktail on the menu falls into one one of three categories: riffs on classic drinks called Darling Cocktails, options that contain higher concentrations of alcohol called Boozy Darlings and zero-proof concoctions that are called Darling, Your Drunk (perfect for those who don't drink... or those who have had too much to drink). Whenever possible, Nobody's Darling sources ingredients from Black- and queer-owned businesses, including local brand Playpen Vodka and Black-owned distilery Uncle Nearest.
If it's your first time at Nobody's Darling, start off with the Carry Me Home Darling, a refreshing gimlet riff that benefits from botantical flavors of St. Germain liqueur. Those looking for something stronger should appreciate the smokey, boozy notes of the bar's Penicillin, which is mixed with a dash of Laphroaig honey. And if you're not drinking, the zero-proof Darling Spritz uses an Aperol substitute that tastes almost like the real thing.
With solid cocktails, a welcoming atmosphere and somewhat cramped confines (at least indoors), Nobody's Darling is reminicent of Logan Square drinking destination The Whistler. And just like that bar, you can expect to wait for your drinks as the crowds grow thicker—but you shouldn't have any trouble striking up a conversation while the darlings behind the bar whip up your order.