Given the limited drinking options in the Financial District, we couldn't help but be curious about the latest bar to open there: Jackson Tavern (216 W. Jackson St., Loop, 312-877-5373), an upscale pub owned by the Tavern Collective (Randolph Tavern, Tapworks Tavern and Grill). The new spot near Willis Tower opened August 21, and you can already tell it's going to be a popular choice for happy hour.
First, it's huge. The 100-seat spot can hold around 250 total, and the bar, at 114 feet, ranks as possibly one of the longest in the city. There are around 70 classic short-back bar stools lining the copper bar, with TVs evenly spaced throughout the stretch. Four-top tables make up the rest of the seats, and wood paneling and antler chandeliers give the whole place a country lodge meets city tavern vibe, with a little bit of sports bar to round it out.
There's a deep draft selection here, too: 24 beers on tap, including permanent handles for Goose Island and Two Brothers (this means custom brews from both breweries and access to Goose Island's limited lines, such as Bourbon County.) For non-beer drinkers, elaborate cocktails are available, including the "Proud Mary" Bloody Mary, with custom-infused vodka and all the fixings of a Chicago dog. Speaking of food, think "upscale street": burgers, tacos, and sandwiches, all better than the typical bar grub.
Here's what else we saw when we stopped in.