Sand, cerveza, and more air brushing than the cover of Cosmo: Welcome to Paradise Cantina (1212 N. State Pkwy.; 312-202-0994), a new Mexico-inspired bar in the vicinity of Rush and Division that, beach party overload aside, looks pretty darn good right now in comparison to the snowdrifts outside. “You walk in, and it takes you away on vacation. It gets you out of your daily drag,” says co-owner Brad Gold, who, along with his partners, runs another location in Las Vegas and plans to open a third, at 2015 West Division Street in Wicker Park, in early February. While you may have weighed the costs of a holiday getaway to Mexico proper, a trip to Paradise can be yours for as little as $8 to $13, the price of the spot’s 11 specialty margaritas, including the all-organic Rio Cancun, made with Casa Noble tequila. Browse our photos below.


Photography: Megan Lovejoy