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The Violet Hour, Chicago

1520 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 773 252 1500's insider take:

This posh Wicker Park lounge is the place for a hip, dressy night on the town. The unmarked door recalls a speakeasy, the name (a line from T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land) suggests romantic drama, and the interior follows suit. Designer Thomas Schlesser (the man behind Avec and Blackbird) took a break from his signature pared-down style and opted for velvet drapes, high-backed blue chairs, and crystal chandeliers. The surprisingly ambitious canapé menu includes duck meatballs and fried banana, but make sure to leave room for the Violet Hour's raison d'être: cocktails, painstakingly prepared—at times with an eyedropper—by the in-house mixologists.

Open Sundays through Fridays 6 pm to 2 am, Saturdays 6 pm to 3 am.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.