Winter in Chicago frequently calls for a stiff drink and a cozy fire, and at North Side’s recently opened The Grid, you can have both in spades. The fact that this subterranean lounge boasts a staggering 25 television sets firmly qualifies it as a sports bar, but make no mistake, this is arguably the most stylish way to enjoy a NBA game, thanks to the picture-perfect rustic-meets-mod décor from the team behind Baume & Brix
. Exposed brick walls and vintage timber ceilings feature throughout, but the space is partitioned with communal high-topped tables on one side, and tufted leather booths and hanging chrome fireplaces on the other.
The ‘sophisticated sports bar’ vibe carries through to the menu as well – there are no cocktail peanuts or wasabi peas to be found here. Rather, there’s tuna poke served with spicy lemon ginger and prawn crackers in a mason jar, and mini Kobe burgers with umami mayo on an egg bun. The cocktail program is equally thoughtful, with Chicago-centric concoctions like the ‘Magnificent Mile’ with St. Germain, Prosecco and hibiscus syrup, and if you’re settling in fireside to watch the game and nothing but beer will do, there’s a selection of 24 draft and bottled, including the locally-brewed Green Line and Matilda pale ale. “Go Bulls!”