Champagne, a symbol of celebration, is traditionally drunk on New Year's, smashed against the hulls of new ships, and sprayed at newlyweds with a fire hose. Toast your own auspicious events and new beginnings with today's giddy-making Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of champagne and gourmet nibbles at Pops for Champagne on State Street.
Pops for Champagne has a colossal champagne list of more than 100 vintage bruts, prestige cuvées, sparkling rosés, and sweet sparkling wines. At Pops' translucent onyx bar, effervescence enthusiasts knock back rare bubbly masterpieces such as Taittinger 1998 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Jacquesson 1988 Grand Vin Signature, and Krug 1996 Clos du Mesnil. If the fizzy drinks make you float dangerously close to any industrial-sized ceiling fans, weigh yourself down with executive chef Chris Walker's menu of cheeses, raw oysters, hot and cold plates, and desserts. The latest lineup lets tippling taste buds dance from house-made lemon ricotta cheese ($5/oz.) to peeky-toe crab adorned with green curry tapioca, papaya salad, and honey foam ($8) before finishing with a dessert of cobbler ($6).
With free live jazz on Sundays through Tuesdays at 9 p.m. in the street level main bar, Pops' drinkery is as classy as swizzling a flute of choice champagne with a live bird of paradise. A subtle bubble motif extends to the amber and gold accents that pop against the silvery walls. The magnificent main bar is crowned by an entertainment chandelier of flat-screen TVs. It's like the effortless elegance of a Fred Astaire movie was added to a night out.
Chicago Scene magazine readers named Pops for Champagne the Best Wine Bar in Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times, Restaurant Hospitality, Stratos, and Today’s Chicago Woman featured this lively bar and restaurant. [Zagat] subscribers review Pops positively. Citysearchers give it an average of four stars, and more 240 Yelpers give it an average of 3.5 stars (some of them didn't have this Groupon to lighten the cost of the bubbly):