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June 12, 2014
East Room

Craft cocktails? Pah! At new Chicago speakeasy East Room the barmen have no time for fussy syrups or frilly garnishes, partly because the neighbourhood see-and-be-scenester has been pulling in big crowds, but mainly because the heart and soul of the concept is simple – great beer, great whiskey and great tunes. The brainchild of the bar veterans behind equally faff-free Boiler Room and Parts & Labor, East Room occupies an industrial-meets-boudoir space tucked off Logan Square with no number and no signage, just a red lightbulb demarcating the entrance – but thankfully that’s where the ‘speakeasy’ likeness begins and ends.

Inside, the moodily dim-lit bar is lined with red Victoriana wallpaper, an assortment of black booths and two-tops, the odd Botticelli-esque light fixture, and a bare brick wall displaying a rotating selection of arthouse films. Lavish décor aside, the drinks menu remains simple: while no cocktails feature, a number of classics – such as a good Sazerac – are available upon request, plus you can also count on a respectable selection of nearly 30 beers (including Mexicali), and 40 whiskeys from high-end to low. Arrive early for a spot in the elevator – a mellow clubby nook that’s been lined with benches and cushions – ideal for kicking back and enjoying the old-school soul soundtrack.

2828 W Medill Ave / Logan Square / +1 773 276 9603 / 6pm-til late daily / cash only, ATM inside / eastroomchicago.com
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