There’s a Lot Going on in the Loop’s Newest Cocktail Lounge

There’s a Lot Going on in the Loop’s Newest Cocktail Lounge

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If the neon glow from this clandestine cocktail lounge doesn’t draw you in, the wall of speakers should.

Or the nostalgic notes of Mario Bros.

Welcome to Chelsea Room. You’ll find it by walking through modern diner Early Society. And, once you do, it’s all cocktails and graffiti in this back room bar. It’s open now, take a look.

Here, the art-covered walls are inspired by the New York City art district heyday in the ’60s and ’70s. Velvet chairs and leather booths sit under a Banksy-style Mona Lisa wearing headphones. One of those leather booths sits dangerously close to a classic Nintendo system. This will be your booth. This will be the place where you throw it back to the good old days with your friends Link and Donkey Kong. With one important addition: fancy cocktails.

Tear yourself away from the controller for a visit to the bar, where they’re offering a seasonal assortment of libations. Try the Chelsea if rosemary-infused vodka topped with champagne is your thing. There’s also something called the El Coco and, as the name suggests, the whiskey cocktail is spiked with chocolate, garnished with a melted marshmallow and, given the surroundings, makes perfect sense.

For now, the whole experience is set to the tune of a local DJ in a vinyl record-covered booth. But come Lollapalooza and Pitchfork weekend, expect to see performances from visiting artists and musicians.

If you haven’t fled the city in a blaze of glory, that is.

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