Sparrow (12 W. Elm St., Gold Coast) is a bar out of place in the best possible way. The intimate cocktail lounge feels like it should be tucked away in Wicker Park or the West Loop thanks to an obsessive attention to thematic detail and well-crafted cocktails.
The inspiration is a 1940s-era Havana hotel lounge, and the details are so spot-on that patrons have been regularly fooled into thinking this is the actual lounge for an actual hotel (spoiler alert: It’s not.) The Cuban influence means plenty of simple, refreshing rum cocktails, including the lime-soaked Floridita, and low-key couples litter the bar area, taking in the relaxing, bro-free scene.
Here’s what else we saw when we stopped in.