Rooftop. That’s all you need to know. Okay, maybe you need to know a little bit more because they all start to look and feel the same. Not this spot. Welcome to an oasis within the city limits: drumBAR.
photo courtesy of Anthony Tahlier
Resting atop of the Raffaello Hotel, drumBAR captures the essence of a speakeasy. Upon arrival, there’s a very trendy doorman who greets you and walks you to a hidden elevator. Is this the service elevator? Quite possibly, but I don’t mind it right now. About 200ft later, the doors open to a lively crowd. The inside lounge is rustic and beautiful. The cast iron chandeliers hang from the white walls which contrast with the dark wood and furniture. It’s sexy yet romantic.
We take a walk to the outside terrace only to find every seat occupied. It’s beautiful though. The city noise is completely muted. Am I still in Chicago? Aside from the crowd, it’s too quiet to tell. We make our way back inside and flip through some specialty cocktails while grabbing two seats at the bar.
There’s a man in a suit sipping on a cocktail alone while groups of people share in laugher. The crowd is fun but mature. I like it. I order up a Honey while my friend orders the Delicate (we won’t judge the pink drink that’s about to be in his hand).
I had sent a few emails back and forth between a couple staff members and wanted to introduce myself. When Benjamin and I exchange introductions, we are quickly moved to our reserved spot outside. Perfection.
There were two seats next to the fire; although the other chairs were close, there was enough space for private conversations. I couldn’t stop smiling. The architecture was brilliantly played with. Exposed brick stood alongside the glass walls.
Benjamin brought us our drinks and explained them to us in great detail. His customer service throughout the evening would prove to be impeccable. In fact, the whole staff was more than accommodating.
What I thought would be a casual night with a drink or two turned into a long evening of good conversation and excellent mixology. We sat for a few hours enjoying the beautiful summer night. A couple of friends joined us. Their names were added to the list immediately, and they were brought upstairs without waiting. Yes, there was a line. It’s Chicago. There’s always a line.
Complying with Chicago laws, the outdoor terrace closed at midnight. A table was saved for us inside, and we made our way to the leather couch. My eyes wandered around the room still soaking in the atmosphere and loving the ambiance. We managed to try every specialty cocktail. My favorite was the Rose, but Smoke offered the most unique flavor.
I read some reviews where people were complaining about service. Service was wonderful. In fact, I haven’t experienced such great hospitality in a while. If you want your drink immediately, go to a bar. If you want a beautifully crafted cocktail then sit back, relax and slow down. This might be the city, but we can all use a little break. Many thanks to the wonderful staff at drumBAR