The Darling Chicago

The Darling opened quietly on November 16th 2018 at 905 W Randolph St, about a 5 minute stroll East from the Publishing House’s front door. Situated in the same building as the J.P. Graziano Sandwich Shop, The Darling took over a space previously occupied by Two Fun Chinese restaurant.

I took a colleague in for a cocktail or two last week on a Wednesday to check it out first-hand, as we’d been wanting to go for a while but had not found the right opportunity.

The first-floor space is small but even without reservations we were seated at the bar immediately. My colleague ordered the Mary Poppins and I fancied the Paddington’s Marmalade Negroni. Both were great cocktails so next up we decided to order some snacks to test out the menu – trout dip and veggie chips, both delicious and very reasonably priced.

Cocktails at The Darling

Cocktails at The Darling

Trout dip at The Darling

Trout dip at The Darling

The most interesting thing about this concept bar however isn’t the food or the drinks – but that every half hour a large piece of wall art slides up or down off the wall to reveal a small stage with a performance act of some kind. That night, the act was a solo singer with a guitar, playing interestingly arranged cover songs. I can’t wait to go back next time and see what other surprises they have planned.

As we got to talking with the maître’d and he realized we worked just down the road and also in hospitality, he offered to tour us upstairs to the bar, which is closed on Wednesdays. The upstairs is large, with a central bar, club lounges, and a DJ stage which, in his own words, “gets pretty loud” on a Friday or Saturday night.

All in all, we recommend. If you’re looking for a different experience especially for a cocktail then this is the place for you.

The Darling - 905 W Randolph St, 312 285 2609