The 5 Bars We’re Most Excited For This Year (So Far)

By Carly Boers, Matt Schur, and Emmet Sullivan

While we wish we could have crawled through Chicago's pubs forever for our 100 Best Bars issue, at a certain point we had to call it quits and actually write the whole thing. The problem? Going to press means we couldn't include the spots opening now in the city. Here is what we're most curious about for the next time we tackle the best bars of Chicago.

Billy Sunday


Who: Matthias Merges (Yusho), Alex Bachman
What: Matthias Merges follows up the wildly successful Yusho with a 50-seat cocktail spot where homemade bitters and tonics inform the drink list, and the limited food menu delivers his idea of “1940s and 1950s dinners at Grandma’s house.”
Where: 3143 W. Logan Blvd.
When: January 2013


Three Dots and a Dash


Who: Paul McGee (the Whistler)
What: A tiki-inspired bar taking up the basement of the recently opened Bub City (which also has a McGee-produced cocktail list).
Where: 435 N. Clark
When: early 2013


The Promontory


Who: Longman & Eagle Owners Bruce Finkelman (Empty Bottle, Bite Cafe), Craig Golden, and Jared Wentworth
What: There's not much to know at this point, but anything by the L&E guys is sure to be worth checking out.
Where: 1539 E. 53rd St
When: early 2013


Charcoal Bar


Who: Gene Kato (Sumi Robata Bar), Matthew Lipsky (Morso, Untitled)
What: Attached to Sumi Robata Bar and housing only 11 seats, the intimate space is Japanese-inspired, from the beer list to the bartending style.
Where: 702 N. Wells
When: early 2013




Who: Dan George (Slurping Turtle)
What: River North gains yet another speakeasy with the addition of this basement bar
Where: 116 W Hubbard
When: January 25, supposedly