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March 13, 2014

For over seven years now The Violet Hour has been feted as Chicago’s go-to (and original, many say) sultry speakeasy for precision post-prandial sips, but with an unapologetic ban on mobile phones and vodka-mixed cocktails, the atmosphere could hardly be described as ‘relaxed’. So veteran TVH bartenders Robby Haynes and Henry Prendergast have struck out alone with Analogue, a more casual iteration that still manages to deliver the same revered standard of cocktails. Designed by Maya Nash, Analogue’s blank brick walls and worn wooden floors are a far cry from their former home’s high ceilings, chandeliers and luxuriantly heavy curtains; in fact, the only decoration to adorn the walls here are the framed shelves stacked with colourful liquor bottles.

Newfound freedom is unabashedly celebrated in Analogue’s cocktail program, from the tantalising (‘Radio/Flyer’ mixed with bourbon, lemon, smoked brown sugar, and pumpkin bitters), to downright bizarre (‘Good Morning, Captain’ made with Jamaican gold rum, blackstrap molasses, tobacco, and a whole egg). And although cocktails get top billing here, New Orleans-inspired plates from chef Alfredo Nogueira come dangerously close to stealing the show with buttermilk fried chicken, crunchy slaw and house pickles; a house ‘hotdog’ with red beans, chow chow, and LA hot sauce; and a soul-warming chicken and andouille sausage gumbo served with a big scoop of potato salad. No Yat required!

2523 N Milwaukee Ave / +1 773 904 8567 / 6pm-2am, till 3am Sat, closed Tue /