M Lounge bills itself as a martini bar, but that title doesn’t do this welcoming place justice. Filled with soft leather and suede couches and a vibe that’s equal parts relaxed and upbeat, this spot is like hanging out in your chic friend’s living room. There are TVs playing the local teams and nooks for conversations — the owners boast that over a dozen couples have gotten married after meeting here — but the music is the real highlight. Free live jazz, blues, or R&B was featured every Tuesday and Wednesday before the pandemic and is scheduled to return in the spring. In the meantime, DJs spin lively R&B and hip-hop sets, along with current soulful hits.
Address: 1520 S. Wabash Ave.
Year opened: 2006
Drink of choice: Sexy Sangria Martini, a blend of Hennessy, strawberry purée, and Champagne
Clientele: Black professionals in their 30s and 40s and neighborhood residents
Song you might hear: “Rock the Boat” by Aaliyah