After a weird month of gray, rainy, cold days, summer is coming to Chicago at last. Sunshine and 80-degree temperatures are expected just in time for Memorial Day weekend. How perfect, then, that Bounce Sporting Club (324 W. Chicago, Near North) has decided to open its brand new rooftop bar this Thursday.
“Some other rooftops are very corporate in their feel, very hotel,” co-owner Yosi Benvenisti says. “We’re gonna provide a little more of a party-like atmosphere.”
What does that actually mean? Well, the brand-new rooftop space—which tops off a three-story building with a great view of the skyline—boasts tons of seating and shade, as well as a cool new feature: bleacher-style seating facing the bar.
The bleachers came about because Benvenisti realized that, despite Bounce’s social setting as a sports bar and dance club, a lot of people don’t really interact at tables. “We wanted to make it comfortable for someone to come up and grab a drink at the bar and go sit at this bleacher area where you can talk to people, interact and engage,” he says.
Speaking of drinks, Bounce has a new special rooftop menu that includes plenty of summer-perfect frozen goodness, like the Story of OJ, a concoction of vodka, ginger, kaffir lime, and blood orange. It’s also serving something fairly unique—boozy ice pops. The Pretty in Pink combines rosé, lemon, sugar, and vodka; you can finally lick your rosé, as well as sip on it. The rest of the cocktails are playful and made for partying (I didn’t even know there was such a thing as caffeinated whiskey!) and there’s plenty of bubbly, rosé, and summer-friendly beers on draft.
Food options are a little lighter than those at the original Bounce. Dishes include crab toast with smashed peas and chiles, tuna poke tacos, head-on prawn skewers, and a summer flatbread made with ramp pesto, ’nduja, corn, asparagus, and roasted tomato. “We’re serving stuff that reminds me of the summer,” says Benvenisti. “Being from the East Coast, lobster rolls are synonymous with my summer.” On Bounce’s menu, the sandwich comes with a healthy dose of celery salt, arugula, and Old Bay potato chips.
Benvenisti expects the rooftop bar to be in full swing for the weekend festivities. “Having a good rooftop in Chicago is imperative to having a great summer,” he says. He’s not wrong.