The Ladies' Room

Bars, Cocktail bars Logan Square
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 (Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas)
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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The Ladies’ Room gives Logan Square an upscale speakeasy with thoughtfully crafted cocktails and large-format drinks.

You enter the Ladies’ Room through a curtain near the bathroom of Fat Rice Bakery. The brighter lights in the bakery, filled with tables of diners, make you feel slightly ridiculous waiting for a hush-hush cocktail experience. But it’s all right, because after a short wait next to the pastry shelves you’ll find yourself in the dimly lit, reservation-only cocktail bar.

Once your eyes adjust to the red glow dominating the space, you’ll notice just how tiny this little bar is—only a handful of two-tops and three tables set for groups of about four, showing just how ready the place is for date night. There’s a board or card game at each table, reinforcing the Chinese-gambling-hall feel of the 19th- and 20th-century Macau red light district that inspired partners Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo. 

Cocktail lovers will fall for Conlon’s menu, filled with non-traditional recipes and ingredients you might not expect to find on a cocktail menu. It’s divided into a few sections, including “Classics Reimagined,” “New Mad Style,” “Tea[s] for Two” and “Big Guns.” Under “Classics Reimagined,” you’ll find cocktails with somewhat familiar names, like a White Negroni and Dr. Manhattan. But they’re not quite what you’ll expect—the Dr. Manhattan, for instance, is packed with rye, vermouth and house-aged elements from what the bar calls “speculative Dr. Pepper ingredients,” turning it into a fruity but boozy departure from a traditional Manhattan.

Cocktails in the “Tea[s] for Two” section come in hot and cold varieties. We were convinced by our server (who on this night was Conlon himself) to go for the hot, herbaceous gin concoction, which turned out to be a great choice. It comes in a huge teapot and is poured into two gorgeous teacups. The hot tea (Rare Tea Cellar’s Freak of Nature) makes Letherbee’s gin and Onu Tuica Romanesca (a plum brandy made in collaboration with Fat Rice and CH Distillery) hit your tongue with a liquor-forward bite that you’ll fall for. It embodies what the Ladies’ Room is—Conlon and Lo’s speakeasy dream, featuring interesting cocktails packed with ingredients you won’t be able stop asking questions about. Arrive prepared to be adventurous, and you’ll fall in love too. 

Vitals:

Atmosphere: Dark and red with pinup posters all over the walls, which lend a cozy date-appropriate feel combined with the scandalous allure of a gambling hall.

What to drink: The Dr. Manhattan and the Hot Tea for Two.

What to eat: There’s a small snacking menu; we went for savory crab chips served with ketchup, but you might want to save your appetite for Fat Rice. And if you plan on playing a game, you’ll find that your table will become crowded quickly, leaving you wondering where you’re going to put those chips.

Where to sit: Your table will be chosen for you before you set foot in the Ladies’ Room—don’t bother trying to control it. But you can see the whole space from any table in the bar area, which means you won’t miss out on a thing.

By: Elizabeth Atkinson

Posted:

Venue name: The Ladies' Room
Contact:
Address: 2957 W Diversey Ave
Chicago

Opening hours: Thurs–Sat 6pm–10:30pm
Transport: El: Blue line to Logan Square. Bus: 76.
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LiveReviews|2
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tastemaker

What easily could have been used as a storage space, the folks at Fat Rice wisely turned the space into hidden lounge. No door from the outside, if you don't know what you're looking for, you definitely wont find this place. Space is limited so you might find yourself waiting, or you can coming during the week and usually walk right on in. The ladies room is the sexy little lounge you always wanted to have a drink in. Red lights, good tunes, and intimate seating. Every single drink is good, whether you're tasting a spin on a classic or a more contemporary cocktail. Nothing disappoints, well except for the snack list. If you're hungry, either eat ahead or grab a bite in fat rice first and duck into the ladies room afterwards. The bites list is a bit limiting, but I cam for the drinks and for that, I left satisfied.

tastemaker

Club goin' up on a Tuesday--that was me on a Tuesday in August at the Ladies' Room. Loved this place!! The decor is fabulous, as evidenced in the photos. My friend and I ordered the Burning Bird cocktail, a large, sweeter cocktail that comes out with an orange on fire in the bowl. It was bizarre that the server refused to serve us the full cocktail (four drinks total) for two people; she would only serve it to us in a half portion. But that just allowed us to try even more drinks there, such as the punch. Overall I loved the experience. It's great to take a date or a friend from out of town that you're trying to impress. ;)