If you’re fortunate enough to fall down the elusive rabbit hole that is The Violet Hour, you’ll go through the muted blue, velvet curtains into a liquid wonderland. Teeming with Chicagoans ready to experience the true art of mixology, you may notice that the chattering around you is from those in the throes of intimate conversation and not those plastered to their cell phones. In fact, you won’t see any cell phones bandied about, as they are not permitted. The Violet Hour is a refreshing refuge from our constantly plugged-in world.
You are escorted to your table, a tiny candle illuminating your sensual, dark surroundings. You are seated in a sleek, leather chair; its elongated wingback reminiscent of the thrones of royalty. Tonight at The Violet Hour, you are royalty.
The menu tempts you with sustenance: artisanal cheeses, mouth-watering charcuteries and highbrow French fries with herb-lemon aioli. On the drink menu, which is designated by alcohol type, you won’t find your traditional Sex and the City cosmo here. The Violet Hour prides itself on the art of a fine cocktail. Infused gins mingle with light simple syrups and refreshing fruits for a summer drink that will leave you revived and ready to brave the sweltering August heat. Escape the cruel winter winds with a Smoke and Mirrors cocktail (the tobacco bitters and Sailor Jerry meld into a drink that is sure to teleport you to the soothing world of a warm, crackling campfire). Or, come with friends and enjoy a gracious helping of blackberry syrup, chai-infused cognac and Pimm’s #1 winter punch.
No reservations are accepted at this little gem, and weekends and evenings draw quite the crowd (expect to wait in line for a highly-coveted seat). The perfect time to go is a weekday from 5-7PM—the quiet, pre-dinner hours. Proper attire is requested, so while you don’t need to pull out the penguin suit or top hat (unless you so choose), baseball caps and flip-flops also should be left at home. Bring friends, family and out-of-towners here for an experience they won’t soon forget.