The Hive at Honey's

Bars, Cocktail bars West Loop
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Photograph: Adam Jason Cohen

Honey’s adds an unusually beautiful dealer’s choice cocktail den above its dining room.

If Honey’s is the gold standard for upscale minimalism, its new upstairs speakeasy, the Hive, is the perfect picture of maximalism. The opium den-like space is filled to the brim with colorful velvet couches, cozy armchairs and ornate candlesticks. The bar itself is tiny and lined with four chairs from the ’70s, giving the spot a lived-in living room feel—if, of course, you had thousands of dollars to throw at vintage furniture. More enticing still is the intimate, one-on-one service. There’s no menu here; fix your gaze on the blackboard overhead for three cocktail options that rotate daily.

Don’t fret if those drinks aren’t calling to you. Instead, opt for the “dealer’s choice,” which is tailored to fit your needs—just pick a spirit and let your bartender guide you to cocktail zen. Once your order is up, retreat to the cozy couches behind the bar and soak in the gorgeous space. (Pro tip: If you can, arrive promptly at 7pm, when the Hive opens, to have your pick of the couches and ample light to get the right ’gram.)

While we’re still fawning over the Hive’s deep, leather tufted couch, it’s worth noting that the $12–$13 cocktails here aren’t revolutionary, and that’s not a bad thing. On our visit, we enjoyed twists on classics, like a gin gin with Rhine Hall pear brandy and a smooth paper plane with amaro. We stuck around for a few dealer’s choice cocktails as well, sipping a funky, pineapple-infused daiquiri and a negroni-esque number with rhubarb amaro. Unlike other West Loop cocktail lounges, there’s nothing overly showy happening at the Hive.

But that’s not the point—the buzz here is the intoxicating space and super simple cocktail menu that doesn’t make you think too hard. Surrounded by dripping candles, ornate objects and beautiful rugs, it’s the kind of place you can really sink into. Frankly, we almost wish we could keep this one a secret. At the Hive, the folks behind Honey’s have truly outdone themselves with the perfect blend of simplicity and abundance.

Vitals:

Atmosphere: Your inner hoarder meets high-end interior designer, complete with fancy rugs, leather and velvet couches and towering pillar candles. 

What to eat: The upstairs bar doesn’t serve food, but you can always hang downstairs and grab a bite at Honey’s Atrium Bar, where there’s a killer happy hour deal on burgers, oysters and more weekdays from 5–7pm.

What to drink: Cocktails rotate on a daily basis, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what could be poured that night. If nothing’s jumping out at you, the bartender is more than happy to mix up something special. 

Where to sit: We hunkered down on the big leather couch in the middle of the room, but sofas make this place feel like it’s perfect for dates rather than large groups.

By: Elizabeth Atkinson

Posted:

Venue name: The Hive at Honey's
Contact:
Address: 1111 W Lake St
Chicago

Opening hours: Thurs–Sat 7pm–12am
Transport: El: Pink/Green line to Morgan.
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