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14 Spots to Grab a Summer Cocktail in Chicago

The most refreshing sips at 14 local, Black-owned bars and restaurants.

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Summer in Chicago is like no other season — after all, it’s the reward after surviving the city’s winters. And though this summer is unlike any other in recent history, it doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate the season with a cocktail in hand.

Whether you’re craving something light like a mule, something strong like a rum punch, or an icy treat (BACARDÍ-spiked Sno-Ball, anyone?), these standout bars and restaurants from all over the city will have you saying cheers in no time. From a blues club to Jamaican hot spots to neighborhood pubs, here are some places to try a new cocktail in the Windy City. And for those who are looking to spend their money more mindfully right now, this guide to Chicago’s best summer cocktail spots features all local, Black-owned businesses.

A number of Chicago restaurants have resumed dine-in service at 25 percent capacity. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit chicago.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Virtue Restaurant

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1462 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 947-8831
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Located in Hyde Park, this Southern American restaurant by owner and chef Erick Williams is warm and inviting. Though it’s best known for its dining, Virtue’s patio is also open for cocktails, and you’ll want to linger with a cocktail like the Caribbean Dream — BACARDÍ Superior Rum, coconut, pineapple, thyme, and star anise. You can also order cocktails for delivery, like a red rum punch meant for two. Pair it with the half chicken or an order of the short ribs for an unforgettable meal at home.

2. Lottie's Pub

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1925 W Cortland St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-0738
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This Bucktown neighborhood bar is the perfect place to hang out with friends, grab a drink, and have an order of tater tots and a burger. Featured on Chicago Fire as “Molly’s,” this place will definitely make you feel like a regular soon enough, and their to-go bottle service is super affordable and something to check out—with a bottle (like BACARDÍ) and mixer that’ll have you hosting your own happy hour. 

3. Frontier

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1072 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 772-4322
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Known for its whole animal feasts, this place was a James Beard semi-finalist — so you know the food is good — and a great patio bar to boot. (Pro tip: Try the Fish House Punch, made with D’USSÉ Cognac, BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro, lemon, and apricot.) With its Wild West lodge feel, it’s perfect for dinner to late-night hangouts, or after-work drinks with friends that turn into dinnertime revelry. 

Courtesy of Frontier

4. Ja' Grill Hyde Park

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1510 E Harper Ct
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 752-5375
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This Jamaican spot serves things spicy and upbeat. With their signature Ja’ Rum Punch featuring BACARDÍ Superior, you’ll be feeling the island spirit one way or another. They also have an extensive rum list organized by region, with a slew of cocktails that you can enjoy on the patio.

Courtesy of Ja’ Grill

5. Mr. Brown's Lounge

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2301 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 278-4445
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Authentic Jamaican food, and plenty of it, can be found here at this West Town restaurant including family meals with a protein, sides, cabbage, and (of course) plantains. As for the drinks? They got ‘em. Try the Island Rum Punch, a mix of Jamaican and BACARDÍ Superior rum, orange liqueur, ginger, and lime. Don’t miss out on the patio for summer living, or order up cocktails and Jamaican jerk wings for delivery or takeout.

Courtesy of Mr. Brown’s Lounge

6. Persona

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408 S Wells St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 285-2271
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This lounge in the Loop has great happy hour specials that last from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a late-night groove. This intimate lounge will make you feel like you’re a part of the party — but for now, the party is all outdoor seating, with $6 cocktails, bites from Taylor’s Tacos, and specials on GREY GOOSE or D’USSÉ bottle service.

Courtesy of Persona

7. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

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1415 N Wood St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 360-8320
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Enjoy New Orleans-inspired cuisine by James Beard semi-finalist Brian Jupiter (of Frontier), who brings his hometown cooking to the Windy City, and the heart of Wicker Park. The patio is open, where you can enjoy frozen drinks and Sno-Balls (an icy treat spiked with BACARDÍ, if you like, and available via take-out window) along with a full patio menu of po’boys and seafood towers. And seriously, don’t miss out on the Sno-Balls — they’re a summer dream come true.  

Courtesy of Ina Mae

8. Sage Room Chicago

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67 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 842-7243
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Get your Southern fix in the South Loop at the Sage Room. With Southern-style classics and a lounge feel, this revamped space — with new outdoor seating — is a great place to enjoy a drink or two. Order the Sage Punch, made with D’USSÉ Cognac, Triple Sec, and fruit juices for some seriously good feels. 

9. Raven's Place

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13031 Western Ave
Blue Island, IL 60406
(708) 371-2357

A multi-level lounge that’s perfect for brunch and happy hours (GREY GOOSE and soda, perhaps?), this place features karaoke, arcade games, and more to keep the party going. Make sure you head here with a group of friends—it’s better that way.

10. Geno's Place

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12401 S Ashland Ave
Calumet Park, IL 60827
(708) 385-3100
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This restaurant (and catering!) is known for its soul food, and will make you want to order pretty much everything on the menu, including the catfish and short ribs. Make sure to try the peach cobbler, too — even better, wash it down with a D’USSÉ Lemonade. The patio is back open now for social-distanced drinks and dining, too.

11. Jerk Villa Bar & Grill

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2216 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 225-0932
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Grab some Jamaican grub and eat to your heart’s content at Jerk Villa. With a lounge-like atmosphere and a full bar, this space is perfect for after work decompression or starting out a weekend with friends. And no jerk dinner would be complete without a rum punch or D’USSÉ Lemonade on the side.

12. President's Lounge

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653 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 874-1212
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Grab a beer or cocktail (can’t go wrong with a GREY GOOSE Cranberry), play some darts, watch some games, and just chill out at this unfussy local spot on 75th. Nights can feature DJs playing house music, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends and turn it into a night — a true hidden gem. 

13. Phlavz Bar & Grille

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717 W Maxwell St
Chicago, IL 60607
(773) 717-7979
Visit Website

This spot is great for after-work cocktails, and features authentic jerk — try the tacos or the chicken sandwich — and a ton of beverages to choose from, like the house special D’USSÉ Lemonade. The restaurant is now open for window and patio dining, just in time for warm weather.

14. Frances Cocktail Lounge

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307 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(224) 858-8304
Visit Website

Frances Cocktail Lounge is a South Side institution — it’s been around for 53 years, and still going strong. It’s a local favorite for both its commitment to the community, and its laid-back atmosphere. Happy hours are popular here, with daily specials, and a D’USSÉ Lemonade is the perfect way to unwind.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Virtue Restaurant

1462 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Located in Hyde Park, this Southern American restaurant by owner and chef Erick Williams is warm and inviting. Though it’s best known for its dining, Virtue’s patio is also open for cocktails, and you’ll want to linger with a cocktail like the Caribbean Dream — BACARDÍ Superior Rum, coconut, pineapple, thyme, and star anise. You can also order cocktails for delivery, like a red rum punch meant for two. Pair it with the half chicken or an order of the short ribs for an unforgettable meal at home.

1462 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

2. Lottie's Pub

1925 W Cortland St, Chicago, IL 60622

This Bucktown neighborhood bar is the perfect place to hang out with friends, grab a drink, and have an order of tater tots and a burger. Featured on Chicago Fire as “Molly’s,” this place will definitely make you feel like a regular soon enough, and their to-go bottle service is super affordable and something to check out—with a bottle (like BACARDÍ) and mixer that’ll have you hosting your own happy hour. 

1925 W Cortland St
Chicago, IL 60622

3. Frontier

1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Courtesy of Frontier

Known for its whole animal feasts, this place was a James Beard semi-finalist — so you know the food is good — and a great patio bar to boot. (Pro tip: Try the Fish House Punch, made with D’USSÉ Cognac, BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro, lemon, and apricot.) With its Wild West lodge feel, it’s perfect for dinner to late-night hangouts, or after-work drinks with friends that turn into dinnertime revelry. 

1072 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

4. Ja' Grill Hyde Park

1510 E Harper Ct, Chicago, IL 60615
Courtesy of Ja’ Grill

This Jamaican spot serves things spicy and upbeat. With their signature Ja’ Rum Punch featuring BACARDÍ Superior, you’ll be feeling the island spirit one way or another. They also have an extensive rum list organized by region, with a slew of cocktails that you can enjoy on the patio.

1510 E Harper Ct
Chicago, IL 60615

5. Mr. Brown's Lounge

2301 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Courtesy of Mr. Brown’s Lounge

Authentic Jamaican food, and plenty of it, can be found here at this West Town restaurant including family meals with a protein, sides, cabbage, and (of course) plantains. As for the drinks? They got ‘em. Try the Island Rum Punch, a mix of Jamaican and BACARDÍ Superior rum, orange liqueur, ginger, and lime. Don’t miss out on the patio for summer living, or order up cocktails and Jamaican jerk wings for delivery or takeout.

2301 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. Persona

408 S Wells St, Chicago, IL 60607
Courtesy of Persona

This lounge in the Loop has great happy hour specials that last from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a late-night groove. This intimate lounge will make you feel like you’re a part of the party — but for now, the party is all outdoor seating, with $6 cocktails, bites from Taylor’s Tacos, and specials on GREY GOOSE or D’USSÉ bottle service.

408 S Wells St
Chicago, IL 60607

7. Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

1415 N Wood St, Chicago, IL 60622
Courtesy of Ina Mae

Enjoy New Orleans-inspired cuisine by James Beard semi-finalist Brian Jupiter (of Frontier), who brings his hometown cooking to the Windy City, and the heart of Wicker Park. The patio is open, where you can enjoy frozen drinks and Sno-Balls (an icy treat spiked with BACARDÍ, if you like, and available via take-out window) along with a full patio menu of po’boys and seafood towers. And seriously, don’t miss out on the Sno-Balls — they’re a summer dream come true.  

1415 N Wood St
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Sage Room Chicago

67 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616

Get your Southern fix in the South Loop at the Sage Room. With Southern-style classics and a lounge feel, this revamped space — with new outdoor seating — is a great place to enjoy a drink or two. Order the Sage Punch, made with D’USSÉ Cognac, Triple Sec, and fruit juices for some seriously good feels. 

67 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616

9. Raven's Place

13031 Western Ave, Blue Island, IL 60406

A multi-level lounge that’s perfect for brunch and happy hours (GREY GOOSE and soda, perhaps?), this place features karaoke, arcade games, and more to keep the party going. Make sure you head here with a group of friends—it’s better that way.

13031 Western Ave
Blue Island, IL 60406

10. Geno's Place

12401 S Ashland Ave, Calumet Park, IL 60827

This restaurant (and catering!) is known for its soul food, and will make you want to order pretty much everything on the menu, including the catfish and short ribs. Make sure to try the peach cobbler, too — even better, wash it down with a D’USSÉ Lemonade. The patio is back open now for social-distanced drinks and dining, too.

12401 S Ashland Ave
Calumet Park, IL 60827

11. Jerk Villa Bar & Grill

2216 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Grab some Jamaican grub and eat to your heart’s content at Jerk Villa. With a lounge-like atmosphere and a full bar, this space is perfect for after work decompression or starting out a weekend with friends. And no jerk dinner would be complete without a rum punch or D’USSÉ Lemonade on the side.

2216 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

12. President's Lounge

653 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

Grab a beer or cocktail (can’t go wrong with a GREY GOOSE Cranberry), play some darts, watch some games, and just chill out at this unfussy local spot on 75th. Nights can feature DJs playing house music, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends and turn it into a night — a true hidden gem. 

653 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

13. Phlavz Bar & Grille

717 W Maxwell St, Chicago, IL 60607

This spot is great for after-work cocktails, and features authentic jerk — try the tacos or the chicken sandwich — and a ton of beverages to choose from, like the house special D’USSÉ Lemonade. The restaurant is now open for window and patio dining, just in time for warm weather.

717 W Maxwell St
Chicago, IL 60607

14. Frances Cocktail Lounge

307 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

Frances Cocktail Lounge is a South Side institution — it’s been around for 53 years, and still going strong. It’s a local favorite for both its commitment to the community, and its laid-back atmosphere. Happy hours are popular here, with daily specials, and a D’USSÉ Lemonade is the perfect way to unwind.

307 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

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