Party in a Glass

August 2022 View more

Lady Ellington’s Summer Promenade

Common Good Cocktail House

The unique ingredients and thoughtful preparations at this low-key hangout rival any of Chicago’s craft cocktail bars, and the friendly bartenders serve them with zero pretense. The menu reboots with 30 new cocktails each season, detailed on the menu with clever names and always succinct, often entertaining descriptions—think “spicy, tart, refreshing AF” or “lightly tart, smoky, crushable.” The outdoor patio is a lovely setting for warm-weather sipping, and children are welcomed with coloring sheets and “free-spirited” drinks (custom mixes of flavored syrups, juices, and soda water). “It’s kind of counterintuitive to bring your kids to a bar, but we hope our establishment is somewhere families can spend time together,” says Alicia Hauge, who co-owns the business with husband Chad Hauge and friend Mike Melazzo.

Good to know: Subscribe to the Common Good Cocktail Club for monthly boxes of spirits and mixers to enjoy at home, and you’ll get first dibs on tasting events, too. 560 Crescent Blvd.

Four Citrus Smash and That Pink Drink

NWB: Next Whiskey Bar
Lisle and Plainfield

Classic rock fans will appreciate that this bar’s name is a nod to lyrics from “Alabama Song” by the Doors: “Well, show me the way to the next whiskey bar.” Business partners Dan Tacone and Ben Devee opened NWB in 2017 in downtown Lisle, focusing on craft cocktail-making, with a detailed menu that even lists the type of glass used for each drink. Though classic bourbon cocktails such as old-fashioneds and Manhattans are poured in plentiful number here, there are ample other spirits in the mix, like the Prairie organic cucumber vodka in That Pink Drink, a summery sipper muddled with rotating seasonal fruit, from watermelon to strawberry. 

Good to know: NWB’s downtown Plainfield location is inside a historic Victorian building.

French 76 Martini

The Lewis
St. Charles

When you’re not in the mood for yet another speakeasy-themed cocktail bar, the ’70s motif at this lounge across from the Arcada Theatre—complete with wood paneling and a disco ball—will feel quite refreshing. “When you call our bar, it’s an old-school rotary phone that rings,” says co-owner Rick Muermann, who also runs Bogart’s, a beer-centric arcade bar across the river, with business partner Brandon Andriola. Order classics-with-a-twist such as an espresso martini made with cold brew from a fellow St. Charles biz, Coroco Coffee, or the French 76 Martini, a spin on a French 75 with passionfruit syrup. There’s also a zero-proof cocktail menu with booze-free concoctions named after child stars of the ’70s, including the Osmonds (a blood orange spritzer) and the Danny Bonaduce (a ginger-lime drink). 

Good to know: On Friday and Saturday nights, the bar serves charcuterie boxes made by Geneva’s Chi-cuterie. 106 E. Main St.

Photos courtesy of NWB,  Meagan Shuptar (Common Good Cocktail House), and Rena Captures Photography (The Lewis)