“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago
You might feel like you stepped directly into The Great Gatsby upon entering The Violet Hour. The glass shelves, impressive light fixtures, large fireplace, and expansive dining areas appear to be something out of a movie. The Violet Hour seeks to rekindle the love and appreciation for L'heure verte, the green hour (think happy hour) during which people historically drank absinthe, and does so through the use of candlelit dining, large curtains, small tables, and many cocktails to choose from.
Having trouble finding The Violet Hour? Well, it stays true to its speakeasy heritage by having no sign outside and only a single light to mark its entrance. There is also a mural, which blends in with the rest of the street art in Wicker Park. Describe the outside of the Violet Hour to your friends at your own risk as it changes about every 4 weeks. Artists, local and international alike, submit their ideas to give the Violet Hour its ever-changing external identity. Once inside, there are several “house rules” that guests are asked to abide by. No cell phone use is allowed, you need to wear proper clothing (no baseball hats), no spontaneous party add-ons, and they don't do reservations. Some rules are more enforced than others, but don't test them. Behind the James Beard Award-winning bar, the bartenders serve more than just your next favorite drink; they also mix, shake, and toss the drinks as if it was a choreographed dance. It’s almost as impressive as the taste of the drinks they place in front of you. The cocktail menu, which changes with the season, reflects concoctions that were available during the Prohibition era. You won't find any modern drinks on their menu and don't bother asking for a Cosmo.
One of the most popular times at the bar is when The Violet Hour hosts their Absinthe happy hour on Mondays through Thursdays from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This is an ode to the past and they are happy to introduce your palate to the century-old poets' and artists' drink of choice .