It may not be as high up as other rooftop hotel bars, but this alfresco lounge has other things to help set it above the crowd: a thoughtful cocktail list, substantial bar snacks and, most important, open seats.
Height: 5th floor
Drink of choice: Pomegranate Martini
If you’re eating one thing: Papas Rellenas: fried mashed-potato nuggets stuffed with chicken, cheese and salsa
Wait for a table: 10-15 minutes
Crowd: Exhausted Nordstrom shoppers, hotel guests, and other fancy folk
Conrad Hotel, 521 N Rush St (312-645-1500). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 29, 65, 125. Sun–Thu 11:30am–11pm; Fri, Sat 11:30am–midnight. Average cocktail: $14. Open May 18th.
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