Right now that 4,000-square-foot patio just sits there, taunting you, but come summer—or even, say, 60 degrees—you’ll be the first one out on deck. In the meantime, console yourself with floor-to-ceiling river views from inside South Branch Tavern and Grille, a new happy-hour destination that opened in the Loop last week, with regular business hours starting today, from the folks behind Sweetwater and Boundary. On offer: 60 bottled beers, 12 drafts, and—though it’s hard to imagine in the throes of winter’s dredges—a glass pavilion bar with retractable walls for those days when the sun is just a little too bright. As if.

Browse our shots from Friday night below.

Photography: Jeff Schear