Tiny Lounge (Bar, Lincoln Square)
Location: 4352 N. Leavitt Street
In preparing for our UPchicago Lincoln Square bar crawl, I had to do a little pre-drinking. Bar crawls can get messy — quantity is inevitable — so the key is to focus on your timing. Food, water and a steady pace are your best friends in keeping you out of the red. So I didn’t hesitate to stop for a warm-up cocktail before our outing, a quintessential after-work sedative to help me ease into the bar-crawl state of mind. Tiny Lounge was perfectly understated for this task, a cocktail canteen that straps their mixologists in t-shirts instead of mutton chops and peaked lapels. I had to double check the address because the joint’s not only tiny but it lacks decent signage and is practically swallowed by Bowman’s Bar next door. The interior is Scandinavian simple and rather comfortable for my purposes, as pretentious as their menu was small. Though a small menu is was relief since I was slightly dreading the expected phone-book-sized beverage list. Upon ordering I informed my waiter I was more of a straight-up kinda guy, so he discouraged the sweet specialty drinks and steered me away from the wyatt earp to the simpler sauzerac. It tasted like a dry manhattan with a touch of absinthe but I like my liquorices so it worked for me.
One drink was all I had time for but the place had me intrigued enough to come back another day for their celery enhanced Stalker (chosen by Katherine Raz as The Reader’s “Best Cocktail that Might be Good for you”). The cocktail is unique but if you’re hoping not to taste your gin then you’ll be pleasantly disappointed. Their tap list looked notable but this place screams date night (for its intimacy not it’s panache) and I was on no date.
To make this bar part of a marathon night, check out our Lincoln Square bar crawl.
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