While Milk Bar, located just off The Chicago Athletic Association’s Drawing Room, has served as a daytime café since the hotel opened, the long-awaited cocktail concept is finally opening its doors. The eight-seat micro bar will still offer coffee and pastries during the day from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but come evening, it will transform into one of Chicago’s coolest, most exclusive cocktail bars.
During Prohibition, the Milk Bar space served as a speakeasy for members of the CAA to enjoy their booze, which was served in mugs to give the illusion they were drinking coffee. Today, you can now legally have cocktails, but it still won’t necessarily be easy to get a drink.
Beverage director Paul McGee has designed a program featuring spirit-forward cocktails that incorporate some very rare ingredients and elixirs. To get a spot at the bar, where one bartender will serve all eight seats, you’ll need to make a reservation through Tock, where tickets are available in two-hour blocks. Reservations are currently being taken through the end of the year and you’ll have to put down a $50 per person deposit; that will be applied to your final bill. Two seats during each session will be saved for walk-ins. Will that be you?