After a long weekend of dodging tornadoes at Soldier Field, you could use a drink.
But the line for an obstructed view barstool is two and a half hours.
Solution: Lone Wolf, the new West Loop bar that mixes the feel of your cozy neighborhood joint with the best cocktail list in town.
The 30-seat bar can easily accommodate a before-dinner Sgroppino Italian cocktail made with lime, cucumber, and vodka; an after-dinner digestif called the Seven Sisters with Fernet Branca, Amaro Lucano, Amaro Montenegro, and yellow Chartreuse; and plenty of draft beers in between.
Tufted leather booths and exposed brick walls flank a U-shaped wood bar as a small army of bartenders shake a killer menu designed by the guys behind Barrelhouse Flat. This place has all the charm of a dozen bars you’ve been in before... but with less pretense and more space.
Now that most of your problems are solved, one still lingers: your rumbling stomach. In the time you would be waiting for a single Au Cheval cheeseburger, you can eat the entire menu of Pleasant House Bakery Royal Pies. These flaky pot pies are filled with steak and ale, chicken Balti, or mac ‘n’ cheese with crispy bacon.
The best part? No waiting.
Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Green or Pink Line to Morgan-Lake
Scene: A dark bar with strong drink that attracts the local restaurant workers after their spots close.
Best bets: Welsh Rarebit; Chicken Balti pie; Seven Sisters cocktail
Nearby: Au Cheval; OON; Nellcote