Sparrow

Havana Nights

A Cuban-Inspired Lobby Bar in the Gold Coast

4b602bd27cb2e64b180c0abe6f2ac9ce12 PhotosSparrow
A man walks into a bar.

He looks around, sits down in a chair and goes, “Where am I? Havana?”

The bartender shakes his head.

“You’re at Sparrow. It’s a time capsule for Prohibition-era lobby bars with a decidedly Cuban flair, tucked into one of the Gold Coast’s classic art deco buildings. It opens tonight.”

There’s an antique telephone booth behind him, and the man can just make out some old records inside a veiled cabinet. Laying his hands on the marble bar, he asks: “What’s there to drink here?”

“Rum, mostly.”

“Like tiki?”

“No, like original El Presidentes and Floriditas. The drinks people drank when bootleggers smuggled booze into the states from the Caribbean.”

The man nods.

Here’s the full menu,” continues the bartender. “But try the Hotel Nacional. It’s got pineapple-husk-infused rum, lime juice and apricot liqueur.”

The man takes the cocktail and heads toward the back, passing a cozy nook of red-plaid booths. To his right is an elevated lounge, walls adorned with vintage floral wallpaper.

“Stiff drink,” he says, returning to the bar. And then: “Hey, if this opens tonight, how am I here now?”

To be continued...

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Nightlife in Chicago