Under a glossy West Loop hotel, a subterranean speakeasy beckons.
Published April 18, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.
Text by Hannah Edgar and Peter Ranvestel
Hotels are inevitably bustling places, and few more so than the Hoxton, the luxury West Loop spot boasting eateries by laureled Chicago restaurateurs. Head downstairs, though, and you’ll find a different world: an inviting, cozy nook decked out with comfy seating, candlelit tables, and a baby grand.
Billing itself as a speakeasy, Lazy Bird riffs on Jazz Age sensibilities, which influence everything from its decor to its live music series. The Boka Group venture doesn’t have a kitchen — luckily, with fêted restaurants Cira and Cabra also onsite, you don’t have to go far for a bite — but that’s only because it goes all in on its drinks. The bar’s encyclopedic cocktail menu features 52 classic concoctions, complete with pictures in case you can’t tell your mai tais from your mojitos.
The real draw, though, is a slew of forgotten pre-Prohibition cocktails, revived here thanks to history-buff beverage director Lee Zaremba. Sip back in time with the Clover Club, a smooth, spunky gin cocktail with egg white and raspberry syrup, or the Crusta, apparently the first mixed drink to use citrus. And if you’re split between two or three or 23 different Lazy Bird signatures, don’t worry: There’s one for each week of the year, so you can come again, and again, and again.