Need a high caliber drink to wash down all those bad memories of subpar pseudo lounges springing up around Chicago as of late? An inconspicuous door leads the way. A tried and true Chicago favorite, speakeasy inspired The Violet Hour stands the test of time. Planning on frequenting this place as far back as when I barely become of legal drinking age, on my birthday in February this year, I finally became acquainted with this much talked about sipping joint. These quality drinks are worth the steep price point ($14 bucks a pop) if only to sit back in their uber-muppie high-backed chairs and eyeball the string of punk rockers swigging by the bar.
People watching aside, this is a place I’d definitely come back to, if not for another special occasion, then for an unsuspecting date to impress, or just because I felt like sitting in a dim room, not socializing. It’s another one of those bars that takes itself way too seriously, but where you don’t actually mind that much. They have cute house rules, and plenty of drink choices to make your head spin in anticipation. I liked it so much I came back this month for the boy’s birthday after trying a new River North bar, which didn’t quite do it for us.This time, though, I did a bit more observing than the first time around. Apparently, they have NOTHING in their taste profiles to compile a strictly savory drink. After cake, dessert, and too much food, I merely wanted my staple, a dirty martini, (I know, I know people always make fun of me for drinking like a retired alcoholic in Palm Springs) only to be shot back with a very pretentious “we don’t have anything like that- in fact we have no olives, no olive juice, and just nothing at all like that.” Oh, I respond with a raised eyebrow. After some back-and-forth, I establish they have nothing on the menu for a libation not on the sweet side. We compromised on something like a bloody mary, a creation no longer on the menu, but still available nonetheless. Bummer. I had just started to think this place had it all. Violet hour, yay or nay? Definitely yay- just go knowing you can’t get olives anywhere in the vicinity, and in fact nothing that even resembles its salty savory taste.