Cole’s (Best new bar)
This low-key watering hole, recently opened in Logan Square’s burgeoning Milwaukee Avenue bar district, is just what the strip needed: a scruffy, laid-back yin to the stylish, bustling yang of the Whistler and Revolution Brewing. It’s everything you’d want in a neighborhood tap. Homey, ramshackle surroundings—check. Interesting, reasonably priced draft-beer selection–check. Friendly bartenders and good-natured, chatty owner—check. Nice little stage and sound system for local musicians and stand-up performers–check. What’s not to like?
2338 North Milwaukee
Vertigo Sky Lounge (Best new nightclub)
We’re still not over the Dana Hotel and Spa’s answer to the Signature Lounge: Vertigo. With a view that rivals our favorite Hancock space and a younger, hipper crowd, Vertigo is the perfect spot to sip a martini, to see and be seen. An ice bar keeps things interesting in even the most frigid of temperatures and cushy black chairs and couches keep guests cozy. Just like with the Signature Lounge, however, the bar’s biggest draw has got to be its bathrooms. Unisex sinks and a giant chalkboard offer singles the perfect opportunity to check one another out and leave their mark on this nightclub in the sky.
2 West Erie
Longman & Eagle
2657 North Kedzie