In spite of its location in the midst of the hotter-than-hot West Loop, the Loyalist (177 N. Ada St., 773-913-3774) manages to feel like a chill refuge. That could be due, at least in part, to its address tucked off the Randolph Street hubbub, but it feels carefully curated to be relaxed, too.

This is not a late-night crowd–though the spot's open after midnight, the largest weekend crowds tend to be concentrated around 8:30 p.m., making it a good first stop in a night of cocktailing (which is the focus), or the ideal location for a secluded nightcap. Come as you are, pull up to a communal table, and ease into some drinking.

Here's what all we saw when we stopped in.