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The Violet Hour

Speakeasy, Cocktail Bar, and Lounge$$$$
Wicker Park, Chicago
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9.2/10
801
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232 Tips and reviews
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  • 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
  • Mary A.
    Mary AlesandriniApril 18, 2016
    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!
  • 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.
  • Cole K.
    Cole KennedyNovember 26, 2016
    It's the perfect date spot. Whether you go before dinner, instead of dinner, or after dinner, you won't be let down. I liked the Midnight Stinger.
  • Lisa W.
    Lisa WMay 13, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Eric K.
    Eric KrullOctober 5, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    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!
  • 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.
  • Cristian L.
    Cristian LöfvallSeptember 11, 2016
    Low lighting, excellent cocktails and great music makes for an awesome date spot. On weekends, come early or be ready to wait to be seated!
  • 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.
  • ブルーノ
    ブルーノFebruary 12
    One of the highlights of my weekend in Chicago. Funny place, a surprisingly airy and large speakeasy with a great selection of (strong) cocktails. Approved! 🥃
  • 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
  • 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." 
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Louis K.
    Louis KliegerDecember 20, 2016
    The intimate atmosphere let's you focus on your private party and forget there are even other patrons. Cozy, trendy, and amazing cocktails.
  • 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!
  • Eater
    EaterJanuary 13
    Few would be able to see unless for the fireplace inside this infamous, dark cocktail spot in Wicker Park. Read more
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 :)
  • 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.
  • Matt B.
    Matt BentonMay 12, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    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.
  • Carolyn B.
    Carolyn BreitMay 24, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Sitting at the bar is fun to check out how they make all the drinks but I also love the high backed throne chairs
  • Liz H.
    Liz HomsySeptember 26, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Probably one of the best cocktail bars in the city...go early on a weeknight if you want to avoid insane crowds :-)
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Rafique J.
    Rafique JiwaniMarch 9, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The old fashioned here is one of the best I've had but request it to be mixed with Wild Turkey rare breed bourbon for a more potent finish
  • Caroline W.
    Caroline WuApril 12, 2015
    Had the Sunday Best. One of the best cocktails I've ever tasted - incredible. Ambience is dark and private but classy
  • JenKudu
    JenKuduSeptember 16, 2016
    If you don't want to loose yourself in the menu, just tell what flavor or season your craving and they'll come up with perfection.
  • Matthew S.
    Matthew SimpsonJune 16, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    They make some of the best bitters-based drinks in the city! Try the Bitter Giuseppe, or The Sam Spade!
  • Emily B.
    Emily BoltonMarch 22
    I enjoyed my visit and had a great cocktail, but I wouldn't recommend going alone. They don't allow phones, the bartenders aren't chatty, and you're stuck to a seat.
  • 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!!
  • Jenny F.
    Jenny Fukumoto 🍺October 25, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    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!
  • 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.
  • s p.
    s pJune 13, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    the artisanal speakeasy that started it all in chicago. house made bitters, tinctures, liqueurs, and fresh juice & herbs.
  • Erika D.
    Erika DavisMarch 29, 2016
    Love the atmosphere & all the drinks I had here so far. Perfect ambiance for a romantic date.
  • 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?
  • ニコラス D.
    ニコラス DmitriSeptember 4, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    If you don't know what you want, just describe the drinks you like. I've never had a bad recommendation.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Yurij B.
    Yurij BryndziaMarch 7, 2015
    Pro-tip: Get a fishbowl of anything (bartenders are like magicians here) and share it with someone, save some $
  • Audrey T.
    Audrey TolbertJune 4, 2014
    Well-made drinks and great hand lotion in the restrooms! Win win.
  • Kieran K.
    Kieran KlaassenFebruary 24, 2015
    Best for a date! Cocktails are the best and appetizers as well. Friendly staff
  • Ross G.
    Ross GarnerMay 19, 2011
    Worth the wait. Unmatched cocktails served in an intimate atmosphere. Go during the week to avoid the long weekend lines.
  • Chris S.
    Chris SteeleApril 8, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Absinthe happy hour from 6 - 8pm. Chase down that green fairy, just make sure you're not driving afterwards.
  • Wen W.
    Wen WongOctober 24, 2013
    Kevin on the door is an absolute sweetheart. Show him some love and he'll give you some back!
  • 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.
  • Lina
    LinaFebruary 6, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Be nice! The staff has to deal with so many amateurs! Treat people like its their birthday, daily! - kid president
  • Ivy
    IvyAugust 10, 2011
    The punch pitchers are great for splitting with friends. Be wary of the HUGE block ice cube though, makes serving difficult.
  • Ting T.
    Ting TsaiNovember 28, 2015
    Lines out the door even as early as 8PM. Cocktails are well done and strong.
  • Chicago magazine
    Chicago magazineJanuary 16, 2012
    Must-try cocktail: Hush & Wonder. The classic daiquiri, all dressed up and perfumed with violet liqueur.
  • Julie Y.
    Julie YeagerMarch 25, 2016
    A great swanky cocktail bar! And the bacon wrapped dates were excellent!
  • 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.
  • Shannon H.
    Shannon Heath2 weeks ago
    Runner up for Bar of the Year presented by Hendrick's Gin, and runner up for Best Bar Family presented by Glenfiddich Scotch at the 2017 Time Out Chicago Bar Awards.
  • Alexandria C.
    Alexandria ColeNovember 18, 2016
    Great list of cocktails. If you're hungry, definitely try the bacon wrapped dates.
  • Pauly G.
    Pauly GNovember 12, 2015
    Awesome atmosphere, killer drinks, a must visit while in Chicago!
  • 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?)
  • Valentin G.
    Valentin GuerinFebruary 20, 2016
    Nice cocktails, take a seat next to the fireplace to be cozier.
  • Ardvaark
    ArdvaarkNovember 28, 2015
    The punch bowl is a great way to start the evening off with a large group of friends.
  • Yura L.
    Yura LeeOctober 6, 2014
    My fav spot of all time. Perfect for date night, girls night, or just group of friends night!!!
  • Thompson Hotels
    Thompson HotelsMay 24, 2011
    Our concierge Catherine at The Sax Chicago recommends sipping on a Black River while enjoying the speakeasy vibe of this amazing bar. Read more
  • Melissa A.
    Melissa AuJanuary 26, 2015
    Neat little spot with unique cocktails and a romantic ambiance.
  • Serena M.
    Serena MayJuly 29, 2012
    Wicker Park Sour for yourself. Seasonable punch bowl to share. Fried gnocchi for sustenance.
  • Dina R.
    Dina RughaniMarch 15, 2015
    Great cocktails. Also order the ricotta toast with truffle oil.
  • Carol H.
    Carol HNovember 6, 2013
    Come on an off night and look for the door handle sticking out of the cement wall next to the bank.
  • Bravo
    BravoJanuary 27, 2010
    Hidden gem where you must be in the know to get in. Great cocktails with cool infusions. -Mike Isabella, Top Chef
  • Peter B.
    Peter BoyceApril 16
    Sexy ambience, great mixologists, great speakeasy vibes
  • al v.
    al viciedoJuly 27, 2010
    Arrive early to start off your night or for a late night nightcap. Best spot in Chicago. Well worth the wait behind the curtain.
  • Hector
    HectorDecember 23, 2015
    Great speakeasy cocktail spot - worth the wait.
  • Aleki F.
    Aleki FaloMarch 18, 2013
    If Patrick is available to be your bartender, enjoy... he's the S#!T!
  • Chad B.
    Chad BellSeptember 30, 2015
    Pro tip: keep an eye out for the periodic super-informative, super-enjoyable master classes.
  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.October 25, 2011
    Order a Part and Parcel- it's not on the menu anymore, but it is a must-have!!
  • Jillian B.
    Jillian BurnickasFebruary 5, 2015
    Very cool place, drinks are a bit pricey but they're super creative.
  • Sarah S.
    Sarah SocialMarch 31, 2011
    This place is phenomenal - my new favourite place for cocktails in Chicago!
  • Mary Kay H.
    Mary Kay HardcastleJanuary 17, 2013
    Eater says try the Aberdeen Sling ($12),made with Pig's Nose Scotch, Lemon, Benedictine, Honey Syrup, Peychaud's Bitters.
  • Esquire
    EsquireFebruary 1, 2011
    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. All of the cocktails are solid, but we're ordering the whiskey smash. Read more
  • narni
    narniAugust 23, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Weekdays are the only way to go. My favorite (not on the menu) is the Rangoon Fizz. simply exquisite!
  • Roxanne S.
    Roxanne SaeiAugust 11, 2014
    Tall love seats make it seem like you are the only group in the bar. Chandelier are so my thing
  • Bear D.
    Bear DohringOctober 25, 2010
    Pssst.. One of the top venues for mixology in Chicago! This is a treasured secret in wicker park.
  • 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.
  • Bobby K.
    Bobby KennedySeptember 16, 2014
    Believe the hype. The cocktails and the service are phenomenal.
  • inspector c.
    inspector clouseauMay 21, 2015
    Здесь есть самый лучший американский виски 2015 года. Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey. Коктейли офигительны.
  • Selene P.
    Selene PinAriApril 21, 2016
    Es un bar speakeasy súper recomendado, los cócteles son algo Fuertes, pero muy buenos! La bartender súper amable.
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