My idea of bottle service is uncorking Trader Joe’s finest in a BYO sushi joint. But walk into any club in Chicago and you’ll see the same scene: Guys, peacocking over a marked-up bottle of vodka, luring in ladies galore. Could a group of women, I wondered, use bottle service to meet bachelors? To find out, I round up my single girlfriends for a night at ROOF, the 27th-story bar at the Wit Hotel.
The evening starts with a spark—literally—when our waitress brings a 1.75-liter bottle of Belvedere Pure Magnum to our table with a smile, dance and two lit sparklers strapped to its neck. Yet, while a few pairs of eyes follow the bottle, few feet do.
Maybe it’s because many have their own bottles. Throughout the course of the night, about a dozen other tables (and that’s just within eyeshot) pop open their own $300–$675 bottles of booze. Depending on the season, ROOF serves bottles to up to 100 parties a night.
But more so, it seems men are reluctant to mooch off of our liquor. As the night wears on, and everyone gets tipsy, a few eligible bachelors join us at our table. Surprisingly, most of them decline to serve themselves. “I don’t want to steal your vodka!” At least they’re polite. And when we get up to dance, men end up buying us drinks—no matter how many times we tell them we have a whole bottle waiting at the table.
Except for one stumbling guy who drinks straight from our bottle of Belvedere, this goes on all night. In that way, the experiment was a failure: Bottle service didn’t help us woo any men. But in the end, our tab was less than $100 per person for a few drinks each and an awesome table on the deck. The experience is worth it for a special occasion, but for an average night on the town you’ll have just as much luck meeting guys at your neighborhood BYO.