12 JUL 2019: With summer in mind – and glass in hand – we at Travel Industry Today, continue our seasonal series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues to enjoy during the (hopefully good) weather.  

When it comes to rooftop bars, Chicago’s brand spanking new Offshore looms large in the Windy City. Literally. It may not be the highest, but none other than the Guinness Book of World Records has declared the venue “The World’s Largest Rooftop Bar.”

Having opened in June, the all-seasons/all-weather venue sits atop the third floor of Chicago’s famed Navy Pier and is pegged to be “one of the city’s and the country’s hottest destinations; a sexy and sophisticated space offering panoramic, unmatched views of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s magnificent skyline.”

The “deck” as it is more properly called, is comprised of over 4,900 sq. m. of chic and sophisticated indoor and outdoor space, including terraces, seven cozy fire pits, entertainment and gaming area, and multiple large social gathering spaces, including two lawns.

Foremost among the attributes is a sprawling and spectacular full-service bar – 30 m. long with 60 stools – serving a seasonally curated beverage program that includes unique house-made craft cocktails, wine, champagne, and strong, local craft beer options, as well as “Instagrammable drinks” like a lychee-style cocktail served in a bag.

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Food is similarly a priority, with a top-class kitchen led by Executive Chef Michael Shrader, a protégé of California cuisine pioneer Jeremiah Tower. At Offshore, Shrader focusses on seasonal, modern American cuisine with global influences served as small, shareable plates.

As guests enter Offshore, they are greeted with a wall of cascading, colourful propellers that are flanked by two slate metal vintage series pool tables on either side while floating globe lights dot the way to the 2,590-sq-m. indoor space that features custom brass whistle-shaped light fixtures, captain chairs, and oversized “playpens” made of a mashup of geometric cushions specifically designed for socializing. A retractable glass enclosure allows the lakeside breeze in, regardless of day or month.

Outside, architectural parasols run the length of the 7,000-sq.-m. Terrace, along with communal tables lined with clusters of globe lighting positioned in netting floating overhead. The space also offers high-top tables for patrons to mingle and sip a cocktail and a stage for live entertainment. Not to mention that great view.

Accessible through the Pier, Offshore is open Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Patrons must be at least 21 to enter.

www.drinkoffshore.com

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