Retail Refuge

She Shops, You Drink

Two shopping days left until Christmas. Then, returns season begins. Which means you or someone you know is going to need this list. Badly. Good luck, and Godspeed.

While She's at: Maria Pinto

You'll Be at:
Michelle Obama's fashion go-to (who, incidentally, carries a very chic line of men's ties) is bound to be an irresistible force for your lady friend. But the Smart Money is actually across Randolph at this restaurant's bar—that's the name of their tasty pear-infused bourbon cocktail.

Province, 161 N. Jefferson St (near Randolph), 312-669-9900

While She's at: Jake

You'll Be at:
Le Colonial
She's going to need more than a few minutes alone here—but she'll be thinking of you, naturally, after you slyly mention the Moncler jackets before heading to this familiar retreat. Nod knowingly at the hostess and keep a deliberate course up the stairs—there's a rattan chair and Singapore Sling with your name on

Le Colonial, 937 N. Rush St (between Oak and Walton), 312-255-0088

While She's at: Cotelac

You'll Be at:
Local Option
Encourage her to take her time with the French threads at this import shop—your ulterior motive awaits in the form of Veltins Pilsner, a near-perfect burger and the sense of satisfaction in knowing you've just pulled off a great escape.

Local Option, 1102 W. Webster Ave (between Clifton and Seminary), 773-348-2008

While She's at: Burberry

You'll Be at:
The Bar
If she's going to do some damage with trench coats and cashmere, surely a Talisker 10-year is justified. Order it neat and settle in on a couch near the fireplace. The coziness level is high here, so make sure she joins you for a second round before your next stop.

The Bar, 108 E. Superior St (in the Peninsula, between Rush and Michigan), 312-573-6766

While She's at: Marc Jacobs

You'll Be at:
Plan B
When she suggests a steaming mug of cocoa at Hot Chocolate as a post-shopping balm, tell her you have a Plan B. After all, nothing takes the edge off a day of shopping more effectively than a good, strong Dark and Stormy.

Plan B, 1635 N. Milwaukee Ave (between North and Wabansia), 773-252-2680

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