Right on one of the more popular sections of Milwaukee Ave., between the Damen and Division blue line stops, The Revel Room’s proximity to a huge number of other bars and restaurants, plus late hours, make it the perfect spot to bookend to your night.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Joe Demes Contributing writer
It’s rare that one bar can be your everything spot, and no duh: bars bill themselves with a certain atmosphere, in turn, to fit the specific needs and wants of clientele. This is how every single business works. Not so with The Revel Room, one of the many establishments under Heisler Hospitality (Sportsman’s Club, Lone Wolf, Estereo, and the late great Bar DeVille). A tavern-style bar with contemporary twists—dark red leather booths, a stopped clock above a gorgeously worn mirrored back bar, vintage-inspired portraits—gives the space a feeling between the lines of homey and upscale. Of course, there is a unifying purpose to the many aspects of The Revel Room, as the name would imply: to have a good time
the bartenders made us a Daiquiri riff, subbing in Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask scotch for an aged rum. Fucking brilliant, and well worth the price point.
To that end, written in chalk on the wall opposite the bar (now you won’t look like a dingus asking the bartender where the list is), the drink menu: a heavy canned beer list for anyone interested in throwing back pints from the comfort of the clamshell booths in the main room, and a stellar seasonally rotating cocktail menu for those who want to cozy up to the bar and take their sweet time sipping on something. And for those straddling that middle line, they offer beer and shot deals that run the gamut: there are your standard lager and whiskey one-two, and they’ve done things in the past like pair a shot of Pappy Van Winkle 23 year with a bottle of Miller High Life for the low low price of $84. (Hilarious? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely yes, you gold foil-wrapped piece of trash.)
The drinks themselves never get overly complicated – usually once – or twice-removed modifications on classic cocktails – and along these lines, you can’t go wrong with a dealer’s choice. Last time we were here, one of the bartenders made us a Daiquiri riff, subbing in Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask scotch for an aged rum. Fucking brilliant, and well worth the price point. We highly recommend deviating from the menu and letting the staff guide you for the evening.
The takeaway of moves like these: to firmly establish that this bar is for anyone and everyone. You can very well take that high-end riff or a shot of Pappy with you to the back lounge, dubbed the Silver Fox Den – only open on the weekends, and replete with intimate booths and a ‘library’ filled with finished wood blocks cut to resemble books – and be a fancy-pants with the other fancy-pants. Or you can, you know, not, and rip that bad boy back with the other patrons in the main room. Whatever your move, no one’s going to judge you here, truly. For being located in one of the most-trafficked neighborhoods in Chicago, the staff is patient and friendly no matter the look of things from the other side (and, as the name implies, it can get wild here). Welcome to your new regular reveling room, ladies and gentlemen.
Mondays are karaoke night; while The Revel Room bills the event as “Industry Karaoke,” it’s not exclusive to those in the service industry
While they don’t offer a food menu, there are multiple spots within a minute’s walk, with multiple price points, to mimic the kind of night and budget you’re planning on
Since it’s situated right next to the Damen blue line stop, we recommend planning your stop into The Revel Room around a walking tour of Milwaukee Ave
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