Janitor’s Closet Is a Bar That’s Exactly What It Sounds Like
Tucked under the FieldHouse Jones Hotel, the Near North Side bar takes its concept as seriously as it does its drinks.
Published June 26, 2019, at 5:32 p.m.
Text by AQILAH ALLAUDEEN
Push past the “Employees Only” sign on the lower level of Chicago’s FieldHouse Jones Hotel, and you’ll find yourself inside an old janitor’s closet. One catch: Only a reservation can guarantee that you’ll be let in.
That’s because this former storage space is taking on a new life as an underground speakeasy. The aptly named Janitor’s Closet (312 W. Chestnut St.) is a dimly lit, intimate 15-seater whose on-the-nose decor — with Pine-Sol boxes, cleaning supplies, and mop heads lining the walls — nods to its previous life.
Sole bartender Jef Tate is the mastermind behind an ever-shifting, intricate cocktail menu. A highlight to look forward to? The bar’s “L” series, including The Brown Line (pictured) — a split base of tequila and mezcal with tamarind, pineapple, lemon, and lime juice, topped with a black garlic garnish that you can nibble on between sips.