By Morgan Lott
River North is known for higher-end dining, so Happy Hour deals are as appreciated as they are sparse. In this case, I was happy to do the legwork for you and collect a range of late afternoon/early evening deals around the area—whatever your desired vibe might be. Pull up a stool, loosen your tie and prepare to vent to coworkers over an ice cold bargain.
When: 5 -7pm
The deal: Select Cocktails for $9 - $11, Wine $7 - $11, $5 Blue Moon Seasonal Beers, Select Bar Bites $6 - $14
The vibe: It doesn’t get much more River North than a steakhouse. A steakhouse with a Happy Hour, however, is pretty rare (pun intended). Fleming’s does offers an extensive HH menu 7 days a week. Outside of that key distinction, Fleming’s aligns with its beefy brethren—think vinyl booths, dark wood. You know, like a steakhouse.
Photo courtesy of The Freehand Hotel
When: Monday through Friday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm.
The deal: $5 draft beers and house wines, daily cocktail or punch for $8
The vibe: The phrase “hotel bar” can evoke visions of rolling suitcases, bright lights, and watery drinks. The Broken Shaker shakes up that idea with lots of tiki kitsch and flattering low lights to enjoy along with a creative beverage. It still maintains the wide cast of characters that make hotel bars some of the best places to grab a drink.
Photo courtesy of The Chopping Block
Where: The Chopping Block
When: Tuesdays, 4:45 – 5:45pm
The deal: $11 all-in for a guided tasting of TWO glasses of wine and a cheese and charcuterie board to nosh on.
The vibe: This weekly treat offers more than just a wine buzz—you also get a little wine smarter. A laid-back, casual tasting with plenty of snacks is great to break the ice with new coworkers (potential future friends?). The Happy Hour can continue at home with 10% off all wine bottle purchases for participants. Spots are limited each week, so pre-registration is highly recommended.
Photo courtesy of Celeste, Bonhomme Restaurant Group
When: Tuesday through Friday, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
The deal: House cocktails and “Chef’s Select Dishes” for $8 a pop.
The vibe: Self-described “River North’s Sexiest 5am Bar!” is a high-end experience, or rather three high-end experiences—including a garden with antique-y furniture, a swanky cocktail lounge, and an industrial-chic sports bar. _____________________________________________________________________________________
When: All day, every day
The deal: $4 Old Styles.
The vibe: The fact that this place closes at 2am is not the only thing to distinguish it from Celeste. While certainly not in the running for sexiest bar, this come-as-you-are joint offers great value for River North. In true dive fashion, this place exists in perpetual happy hour and serves three squares—breakfast, lunch, dinner.