For party-goers in Chicago who want something different from the norm, these bars offer high-quality cocktails in hidden spaces. You’ll have to do a bit of searching to find them, as they’re located underground and out of sight. Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, check out these secret venues for an unforgettable night out.

For party-goers in Chicago who want something different from the norm, these bars offer high-quality cocktails in hidden spaces. You’ll have to do a bit of searching to find them, as they’re located underground and out of sight. Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, check out these secret venues for an unforgettable night out.

Double A

Double A

Address: 108 W. Kinzie St.
Website: http://www.doubleachicago.com

Double A is an intimate lounge located below Mercadito restaurant in the city’s River North neighborhood. When entering the space, you’ll open a massive wooden door with a sliding square peephole. Dance to the nightly deejay while sipping rare premium tequilas from the owners private collection, many of which are only available in Mexico. No need to look at a menu, as bartenders will craft handmade cocktails suited to your tastes. Interestingly, you can watch mixologists create unusual concoctions from anywhere in the room as the bar is freestanding and open. And no worries about cutting loose, as you can dance on the banquettes all night.

Curio

Address: 230 W. Kinzie Street
Website: http://www.giltbarchicago.com

Curio is actually Gilt Bar’s underground speakeasy-style lounge. This ambient yet eclectic space, which you enter through black velvet curtains, is lit only by flickering candles and features plush leather couches, a heavy wooden communal table for socializing, antique mirrors, an old record player and an old-fashioned chandelier. There’s also a good chance you’ll catch a live jazz performance. Cocktails are handcrafted with precision, with many patrons opting for their Tiki Menu. Try their Mariposa Fizz, made with Flor de Cana rum, creme de cacao, egg whites and lemon. And in true speakeasy fashion bring your wallet, as the bar is cash only.

The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room

Address: 937 N. Rush Street
Website: http://www.thedrchicago.com

In it’s below ground location, The Drawing Room offers a cozy, intimate and relaxed experience. While the service and decor are worth the visit, the main draw is the impressive bar menu. A mix of classic cocktails, modern inventions and handcrafted punch bowls, the mixologists look at drink making as an art. Order an “Old-Old Fashioned” with Old Weller 107, Angostura orange and agave, “Kessinger’s Kiss” a blend of Lairds bonded, Firelit, hard cider and fresh lemon sour or the unusual “Louisville Cathouse,” Ancho Chile infused Buffalo Trace, Fernet, White Creme de Cacao and mint. All cocktails are $13, whether you choose one of the handcrafted items on the menu or ask them to create something special for you. Additionally, friendly and attentive staff ensure your glass is never empty.

Charcoal Bar

Address: 70 N. Wells St.
Website: http://www.sumirobatabar.com

Located beneath Sumi Robata Bar but with a separate entrance, Charcoal Bar is slated to open in beginning of December. An intimate Japanese cocktail lounge, the bar focuses on boutique spirits as well as Japanese whiskies and sakes. The concept of the venue is to resemble the aftermath of fire, or charcoal itself. The color scheme is dark grey and black, advanced by burnt wood walls and a large, iron Japanese tea kettle hung over a traditional sunken Japanese hearth. The intimate space will only accommodate 12 people at a time, meaning more one-on-one time with the lone mixologist creating artisanal Japanese libations and classic cocktails.

Cardozo’s Pub

Cardozo’s Pub

Address: 170 W. Washington St.
Website: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cardozos-Pub/192122357494664

Open since 1979, Cardozo’s Pub has served locals who knew about this hidden space. The venue hasn’t changed much, and you’ll be able to get cheap drinks and inexpensive bar bites in a retro vibe. Enter though a tiny entryway and descend underground into a surprisingly spacious and open room with neon beer signs and TVs to watch your favorite games. Monday through Thursday expect discounted drinks like $6 wines and $5 whiskey shots on Monday, $6 rum and cokes and $5 tequila shots on Tuesdays, $6 cosmos and $5 well shots on Wednesdays and $6 Sea Breezes and flavored martinis on Thursdays. It’s proximity to City Hall makes this a hot spot for politicians and lawyers, while its unpretentious vibe draws in the beer and burger crowd.

Sub 51

Address: 51 W. Hubbard
Website: http://www.hub51chicago.com

Located under Hub 51 Restaurant, Sub 51 is an upscale bottle service lounge and club offering high intensity nightlife and top shelf liquors like Belvedere, Chopin, Grey Goose, Don Julio 1942, Don Julio Blanco and Ketel One. The space is intimate with 15 tables, so reservations are required if you want bottle service seating in the over-sized banquettes. Expect energetic DJs spinning a good mix of house music and hip hop. Although the place can get crowded, the bartenders and wait staff are impressive at keeping up.

Categories: Chicago

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Chicago Underground Bars

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