Curio and Curiouser

Gilt Bar's New Secret Underground Lounge

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Something's going on. Something... dark.

Quickly, now—down these stairs. Watch your step. That's it. Then to your right. Another right. Almost there.

Now: squint.

You've made it to Curio, a moody new underground lair hidden just underneath Gilt Bar, opening this Thursday.

You'll enter a room lit only by flickering candles, a soft orange tint and a warm glow of possibility. There's a rough-hewn communal table in the center, antique mirrors along the sides and luxurious leather couches everywhere you need them.

You can stop in for a pre-dinner drink, as there's no food served here (oh, maybe a bowl of pretzels if you're good). Though it looks like a hard-bitten old speakeasy—cash only, incidentally—there's no dude at the door making a big deal about letting people in.

Still, it's after dinner, after some wine, after guards are lowered, when this place will be most fun. Slide down and find a corner to disappear into. While your date sips a Martinez (gin, vermouth and cherry liqueur), you'll savor your usual Hemingway Daiquiri—still, by far, his greatest work of rum.

If you're with friends, however, punch bowls are in the offing. In fact, Curio plans a whole tiki theme this summer, with fruit-heavy rum cocktails, but hopefully no tiki torches to ruin the ambience.

Or to set your date's grass skirt on fire.


at Gilt Bar
230 W Kinzie St
(at Franklin)
Chicago, IL 60654

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