Best view in Chicago, hands down, belongs to this cocktail bar near the top floor of the John Hancock tower. The surrounding Gold Coast neighborhood has no shortage of glitzy shopping destinations or fine dining options, so this ultra-swanky spot is in fine company. But it’s not all that aristocratic — really! When you consider that you’re getting a million dollar view for the price of one martini, that’s a pretty sweet deal. Go for a drink, stay for the incredible views of the city, Lake Michigan and surrounding states that are visible on clear days.
Now to take things in the opposite direction of the skyscraper bars…there’s AceBounce. And this is just a literal fact: while other unique bars in Chicago might go up to the very top floor, this bar does its thing below street level. After entering on Clark Street and descending a grand staircase, you’re met with nearly 15,000 square feet of pure party potential. A games room designed with state-of-the-art sound and video equipment, decked out with 16 championship quality ping pong tables, and a 50-foot bespoke cocktail bar? No, this isn’t a fever dream from the mind of the most outrageous party animal that you know. This is a real, honest-to-goodness ping pong bar and restaurant in the heart of downtown Chicago. And it’s open for business 7 days a week. Get in during off-peak days for cheaper ping pong and the same powerful cocktails that have made Chicago’s drinking crowd go wild over this place since June 2016.
Lagunitas Brewery & Tap Room
People have been putting bars in unique places for as long as bars have been a viable business model. There are bars in caves, boats, abandoned train cars and even on top of bicycles. But for one of the most unique drinking spots in Chicago, you’ll want to make a stop at Lagunitas Brewing Company’s south side brewery and tap room. The massive brewery and bottling/canning plant is built into a former steel warehouse. They’ve got room to grow the operation, that much is evident when you take a tour through the million square feet of property that Lagunitas bought in the mid-2000’s from an old steel processing firm. But what they’ve done with respect to the tap room is even more interesting. You can sit in the old foreman’s office and gaze down at the massive brewing operation from the catwalks as live Blues music is played daily in the tap room. Truly a fun place for beer fanatics and casual drinkers alike.