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Unmarked Hotspot

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 /