The 3 coolest new bars to check out in Chicago

Photo: Z Bar/Yelp

If you're interested in Chicago bars, consider dropping into one of these new spots. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in search of a place to kick back, relax and grab a drink.

80 Proof


1500 N. Wells St., Old Town
Photo: 80 proof/Yelp

80 Proof is a bar and New American eatery that features live DJs every Friday and Saturday night. Head over to this spot for one of its themed nights, including Wednesday Beer Burger and Shot night ($15), Thursday Vodka night ($4 lowballs, $7 doubles), or Friday reverse happy hour from 7-10 p.m.

For fare, 80 Proof offers small plates, spreads, tacos, burgers and sandwiches. Look for menu options like Wisconsin cheese curds, hummus with pita and steak sliders. The full menu can be seen here.

Yelpers are excited about 80 Proof, which currently holds five stars out of six reviews on the site.

Yale R., who reviewed the business on June 10, wrote, "Came here for the Old Town Art Fair expecting to have a drink or two, ending up having 15! The upstairs was stupid lit. The DJ was mixing and matching old hits with new bangers."

Yelper Allison R. wrote, "80 Proof is awesome. Great food, great drink and even better atmosphere. They have pool tables so that is a huge bonus! Love it here, I definitely recommend!"

80 Proof is open from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. on Tuesday-Friday, 10-3 a.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Juniper Spirits & Oysters


1244 N. Dearborn St., Gold Coast
Photo: joanna m./Yelp

Juniper Spirits & Oysters is a bar and restaurant offering seafood and more. It is located on the first floor of the Claridge House, formally known as Hotel Indigo, per Eater Chicago.

The menu includes oysters (market, sauced, fried), a Chicago-style oyster roll, small plates of Prince Edward Island mussels, honey-glazed salmon, burgers and more. Breakfast and brunch are also available.

Expect cocktails like the Gin and Tonic; the Harold Ramis with rum; and the Don Cornelius with coffee-infused Courvoisier cognac, house-made coffee and pecan bitters. The full menu can be seen here.

With a five-star rating out of two reviews on Yelp, Juniper Spirits & Oysters has been getting positive attention.

Yelper Sam N., who reviewed it on June 18, wrote, "The decor seems quite fashionable as an homage on the walls honoring Tom Ford might suggest. ... It has a vibe that you will get addicted to as the couches are quite comfy and plush."

Joanna M. noted, "The food and service were both extraordinary and we would return in a heartbeat. The filet sliders with the quail eggs were the best we've ever had! Art for the mouth!"

Juniper Spirits & Oysters is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Z Bar


108 E. Superior St., Near North
Photo: z bar/Yelp

Z Bar is a lounge and cocktail bar inspired by drinks and mixologists around the world, crafted with a hint of luxury, the business states on its website. This new offering has sweeping views of the city from its rooftop terrace.

Expect cocktail options like The Z, a gin-based drink with cucumber, bergamot, lime and mint; True North, with vodka, blanc vermouth, maple and hibiscus leaf; and the fruity Ba-Daq Attack with rum, mango, lime and banana. Fare includes caviar on celery logs, bone marrow with potato, steak fondue and more. The full menu can be seen here.

Z Bar currently has one five-star review on Yelp.

Garrett Y., who reviewed the bar on June 18, wrote, "Wow, Z Bar is an amazing new rooftop bar in the Chicago scene. I have always loved going to The Bar at the Peninsula for drinks, but now I think I found my new favorite!"

Z Bar is open from 2 p.m.-midnight on Monday-Thursday, noon-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon-midnight on Sunday.
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