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The Violet Hour

Speakeasy, Cocktail Bar, and Lounge$$$$
Wicker Park, Chicago
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9.3/10
709
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222 Tips and reviews
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  • Mary A.
    8 - Romantic, cool place. Did a good job making a large open place feel intimate. Drinks are super strong and tasty. Not great for large groups (long wait), but got right in with two!
    Upvoted Jun 12
  • AFAR Media
    AFAR MediaAugust 4, 2014
    This isn’t a get up and mingle kind of joint, which makes it the perfect dark sexy lounge for romantic dates and quiet conversations about world domination. Try the pimento cheese toasts. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterApril 11, 2013
    Step inside the intimate space and peruse through an extensive handcrafted drink menu that includes vodka, tequila, rum, brandy and portable bitters creations. Try the Juliet & Romeo or the Sazerac.
  • PUNCH
    PUNCHSeptember 25, 2015
    Violet Hour exudes a 1920s speakeasy vibe. While the drinks are innovative, the bar remains old-school: Don’t be surprised if the bartender gives you a sideways look when you pull out your cell phone. Read more
  • Pocket S.
    Pocket SunSeptember 6, 2014
    Nice and intimate atmosphere, great for a cocktail date! The cocktails with egg white are interesting, but I prefer the sweeter ones. The entrance is very hidden so you gotta be looking for it.
    Upvoted Jun 12
  • Redeye Chicago
    Redeye ChicagoJanuary 6, 2015
    Analogue’s Robby Haynes and Owen Gibler of New York’s Mother’s Ruin, who both previously bar tended at the Wicker Park lounge, return to serve cocktails from the bar’s past menus and their home bars. Read more
  • Food & Wine
    Food & WineApril 20, 2011
    Modeled after early-19th-century English clubs and French salons, this lounge is complete with chandeliers and a fireplace. Floor-to-ceiling curtains frame the bartenders as if they were on a stage.
  • Anna B.
    Anna BokunJuly 24, 2014
    ~The Co-Conspirator~ unarguably strong, flawless, basically a pristine concoction of the highest order. As the plebeians say, it's the "most bang for your buck." 
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoNovember 2, 2011
    It's pristine (the carefully constructed cocktails are excellent), pretentious (you won’t find a sign on the door–just look for the long lines) and, ultimately, completely and unarguably gorgeous. Read more
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoOctober 19, 2011
    It's pristine (the carefully constructed cocktails are excellent), pretentious (you won’t find a sign on the door–just look for the long lines) and, ultimately, completely and unarguably gorgeous.
  • Erin G.
    Erin GMay 25, 2010
    these boys are not bartenders... they are mixologists.. if you have a true appreciation for class and liquor I HIGHLY recommend it. Get there early and sit at the bar for the full experience!
  • Jason V.
    Jason ValentineJanuary 27, 2010
    Very pleased with my drinks. I was less than impressed with watching one of the servers make out with her boyfriend all night. If you want awesome drinks, by all means go there. Service, not so much.
  • Lisa W.
    Lisa WMay 13, 2012
    Best cocktails in the city. Never had a bad drink here. Go on a week night or Sunday to avoid the crowd. Have some drinks then cross the street to Big Star and grab some tacos.
  • Rob J.
    Rob JuckettApril 4, 2015
    Amazing cocktails all around. Get "the end of the earth" if you like Madeira and pineapple it is fantastic. Good atmosphere and even if there is a wait, the line moves fast
  • Men's Health Mag
    Men's Health MagNovember 15, 2011
    Here, the bar is a stage, and the tenders are the actors. High ceilings, giant mirrors, hell, even curtains to either side of the bar. Snag a Maloney Negroni, then watch the performance.
  • Jenny
    JennyFebruary 8, 2015
    Dress code. Line out the door (before it was even open!). I should hate this place. But I couldn't if I tried. The lovely hostess was so accommodating for our group of 12. And the drinks were insane.
  • Eric K.
    Eric KrullOctober 5, 2012
    Simply a must! Sophisticated, chic, and everything you want for a one of a kind night out. The most hidden of all the gems but the biggest reward if you find it!
  • Katie K.
    Katie Konrad SwansonDecember 9, 2012
    Get any of their drinks with potable bitters. I am never disappointed! Ambiance is unmatched, modern spin on an old speakeasy. Excellent service and knowledgeable waitstaff.
  • Original Penguin
    Original PenguinNovember 9, 2010
    Fancy an old-world ’30s New York–style speakeasy? No sign? Check. Impossible to find the door? Sure is. An elegant, well-lit ballroom-style joint hidden behind a wood-shuttered Wicker Park façade.
  • Diego R.
    Diego RufoMarch 29, 2011
    $12 here buys you perhaps one of the best cocktails you've ever had. They take things so seriously, they have like a dozen different ice cubs for certain drink variations. Read more
  • Stina P.
    Stina P.December 21, 2013
    lose yourself in the blue curtains. this place has an energy that makes it something to behold once found in chicago. it is tasteful and classic with an edge of biggie rap.
  • Nathan K.
    Nathan KamOctober 31, 2010
    Overwhelming menu of cocktails served here. Ambiance is like nothing I've experienced before. Unmarked entrance, great service, and incredible place to just hang out. A must do!
  • Kelly W.
    Kelly WongOctober 10, 2015
    Hard place to find if you don't know about it. Great for dates or anyone who enjoy well made drinks. Dark, cozy, and intimate.
  • GourmetLive
    GourmetLiveFebruary 10, 2011
    One of Chicago’s most highly regarded cocktail bars, and another Madia-Kahan venture, The Violet Hour was a runaway success. Here cocktails highlight spirits and play off established drinks.
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureFebruary 21, 2014
    Behind a nondescript door in Wicker Park, Violet Hour serves handcrafted drinks (try the Hush & Wonder, made of Matusalem rum, lime, and crème de violette).
  • Jc Q.
    Jc QSeptember 16, 2014
    Walking through the curtains takes you into the world of Alice in Wonderland. Take it all in while sipping on a cocktail and seated a seat at one of the high backed chairs.
  • Chicagoist
    ChicagoistAugust 1, 2014
    Perfect place to get lost in conversation. Draped in periwinkle velvet with sparkling chandeliers and a fireplace, it's a very romantic atmosphere. Read more
  • Natalie M.
    Natalie Morse-NolandOctober 4, 2013
    It's a little too dark to see the menu, but I really like the unique setup and their cocktails are delicious. Also, fiddling on your phone is forbidden here!
  • Mazda
    MazdaNovember 17, 2010
    The visual inspiration for the design of the Violet Hour was drawn from the pared down styles of the early 19th century English Georgian and French Directory.
  • Ashley Z.
    Ashley ZauchaAugust 23, 2011
    Don't use your cell phone and if you are meeting a group - make sure you let the host know you are expecting add ons! Great cocktails... but a lot of rules!!
  • MissBruce L.
    MissBruce LeeMay 23, 2013
    An original selection of cocktails, and an impressive whiskey selection! Hidden location and quiet design, bringing a date at Violet Hour is a winner.
  • Jenny F.
    Jenny Fukumoto 🍺October 25, 2010
    If you're adventurous and want to try a drink with whipped egg whites, go for the Swingin' on the Lawn - brandy, lemon, cherry liqueur/bitters - delicious!
  • Mike D.
    Mike DuFresneApril 21, 2014
    Really amazing speakeasy. Line really starts to stack up at 7 on Saturday and moves really slow. Definitely don't try to come with a group larger than four
  • Kirti D.
    Kirti DOctober 2, 2012
    The small plates are delicious, full of flavor, & help soak up the buzz from the amazing cocktails. It's dimly lit, & perfect for a discreet night out.
  • Suri R.
    Suri RNovember 30, 2013
    On the menu under each spirit, each cocktail is listed shaken and refreshing to stirred and bold. I had the French Professor, it was epic
  • Girish J.
    Girish JoshiAugust 28, 2014
    They make great non alcoholic drinks here. They will try most anything on the menu, within reason. My favorite is their twist on a Pimms cup.
  • Contessa G.
    Contessa GibsonNovember 15, 2011
    you will absolutely love it! for a good time, order a bowl of punch, and one specialty drink, good drinks, with good people = an outstanding time.
  • Wicker Park Bucktown Insider
    If you're looking for a place where you can actually talk, this is your spot. Sophisticated bar. Beautifully decorated.Excellent drinks. Cheers!
  • Dave K.
    Dave KaufmanNovember 28, 2010
    Bar seat is a must. Order off the menu or your specialty drink. Watch the making of a sensation... your drink. You sat at the bar right?
  • Matt B.
    Matt BentonMay 12, 2013
    It hasn't been on the menu in a while, but get a Duckhunter. Best drink by far. Tastes like the fall. Whiskey and nugmetgy goodness.
  • ZZubin
    ZZubinOctober 30, 2010
    Perfect date spot, and of course the cocktails are off the chain. DJ is on his game too: Ghostface and Madlib....u serious? Added bonus.
  • Zach S.
    Zach SmithNovember 16, 2015
    Fancy cocktails and sophisticated ambiance if you feel like feeling sophisticated... Or impressing a date in this low-lit speakeasy.
  • Cresta C.
    Cresta CavanaughMarch 20, 2011
    One of the best places for mixology? They don't even have the right ingredients for the 'Moscow Mule' that's on the menu. (Ginger Beer...helloooo?)
  • Dana J.
    Dana JensenJanuary 15, 2015
    Very pretty! Had much better luck with the "dealer's choice" cocktails than what was on the menu. Got a few killer cocktails that way.
  • LXTV
    LXTVJuly 18, 2011
    We love the exquisitely made cocktails served here with artisan ice, at the first real cocktail-focused bar in Chicago. Read more
  • Sharon T.
    Sharon TsaoNovember 23, 2015
    I love the variety of cocktails there are! Largest menu I've seen in awhile. I liked the gin based drinks :)
  • Nikol H.
    Nikol HaslerJanuary 28, 2010
    Order a Julietta y Romeo- Wonderful gin fizz with champagne. If possible get a seat in the back. It is worth the wait.
  • Elly V.
    Great for a date. Expect to wait in line. The "Up Here Buddy" is not very good. Scarlet Ribbons is a great rum drink.
  • Taylor F.
    It's too loud to hear your date without screaming so the person sitting right next to you can hear everything you're talking about.
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoMarch 5, 2013
    If there’s a single place in the city that signifies “cocktail bar,” it’s this Victorian-esque Wicker Park lounge. Order the First Snow cocktail: http://tmoutchi.us/13EV7jr
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