The SQ1 Tea Blossom
Buddies Alex Hernandez and Ron Vaisman are giving South Loopers the Choose Your Own Adventure treatment at SQUARE ONE, their wine and cocktail bar scheduled to open in early June. “The idea was for our neighbors to have a place to hang out where they could be comfortable for any occasion,” says Hernandez, who also owns a breakfast spot, Waffles, in the same building. Here’s the story: You want a drink. If you’re after wine, grab a glass and advance to the self-service dispenser, then pay by the ounce for what you imbibe. If you’re pining for a cocktail, let the bartender craft a drink to your tastes, or go with a classic like the trusty old fashioned. You’re looking for somewhere to take a load off. If you opt to sip alfresco, find a spot on the 30-person patio that runs the length of the building. If you choose to stay indoors, belly up to the 23-foot bar or settle at an intimate winetasting table with your companions. You’re hungry. Since there’s no cooking going on, you nibble meats, cheeses, and tapenades. You feel pretty darn good. 1400 S. Michigan Ave.
Photograph: Anna Knott