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Upstairs Bars Are Trending In West Loop — The Hive Is The Latest

By Stephanie Lulay | March 17, 2017 4:54pm | Updated on March 20, 2017 8:42am
 The Hive, an intimate cocktail bar above Honey's at 1111 W. Lake St., opened last week in the West Loop.
The Hive, an intimate cocktail bar above Honey's at 1111 W. Lake St., opened last week in the West Loop.
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Adam Jason Cohen

FULTON MARKET — A slew of bars have recently opened just above some of Fulton Market's hottest restaurants — bringing more options for pre- and post-dining imbibing to the neighborhood. 

The latest? The Hive, an intimate cocktail bar above Honey's at 1111 W. Lake St., opened last week. The lounge, which has a hidden entrance to the right of Honey's vestibule, was previously only open for private events. 

With a custom marble bar, eclectic furniture, candlelight and a floor-to-ceiling window, The Hive brings "bohemian gentleman's vibes" to Lake Street, said Honey's co-owner Justin Furman. 

Instead of a fixed cocktail menu, The Hive offers up a daily rotating selection of custom cocktails ($14-$16). 

"We want to make it feel like we're inviting people over to our house and asking, 'What do you want to drink?'" Furman said.  

The Hive is open Thursday-Saturday from 7 p.m.-midnight. Customers are served on a first come, first served basis; The Hive does not accept reservations. 

Specializing in seasonal contemporary American cuisine, Honey's opened in June 2016. 

The Hive is now open above Honey's at 1111 W. Lake St. [Honey's]

Backdoor Saloon 

Grange Hall Burger Bar also debuted the Backdoor Saloon, a Western-themed saloon with live entertainment, earlier this month at 844 W. Randolph St. The upstairs bar opened about a six years after the burger restaurant opened on Randolph in 2011. 

The bar hosts bands Thursday and Friday, a "slightly-naughty" late-night burlesque show ever Saturday night and offers up a late-night menu including a 36-ounce Tomahawk beef ribeye and $4 shots of whiskey. 

Backdoor Saloon is open 6-11 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Patrons are asked to enter through the rear alley entrance at Randolph and Green after 11 p.m. 


Come on by and see why. @thewestloopisthebestloop @thebackdoorsaloonchi @grangehallchi @chicago @chicagomag @eater_chicago

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Esco Bar 

In February, owners of Latin American restaurant Ronero opened Esco Bar, a "sultry" upstairs bar with tableside cocktails, live music and weekly entertainment at 738 W. Randolph St. Performers include performances include conga players, three-piece bands, DJs and dancers.

Designed as an homage to Castillo San Filipe de Barajas in Cartagena, Colombia, a place that holds special memories for Ronero proprietor Nils Westlind, the upstairs bar focuses on large format cocktails served tableside — some of which are served up in rose gold swans. 

Esco Bar is open 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday. 

Esco Bar, the intimate bar above newly-opened Latin American restaurant opened in February. [Ronero]

2Fun Chinese

2Fun Chinese, the 160-seat second floor bar above Sichuan-inspired WonFun Chinese, opened at 905 W. Randolph St. in November 2016. 

The bar and lounge serves up cheeky cocktails, dim sum-style snacks, and hosts karaoke every Tuesday night.

A cocktail program developed by Chicago mixologist Remy Walle includes the Oolong Island Iced Tea with four different liquors infused with oolong tea and popping boba, frozen cocktails, 24 local and Chinese beers on tap and a selection of Asian whiskeys, rums, and wine. 

"It's more of a bar/lounge/hangout space, and I think the West Loop really need that," owner Austin Baker said in November. 

2Fun Chinese is open 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday.

The bar at 2Fun Chinese, 905 W. Randolph St. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]