The martini was invented during the great green olive surplus of 1863 as a way to put the excess supply to good use. It quickly became the drink of choice for sophisticated sippers across the globe and a favorite of the sexier mer-creatures. With today’s Groupon, $20 gets you $50 worth of martinis, beer, and everything else offered at The Martini Bar in the South Loop. The discreet blue sign outside is the only indication of this hidden gem’s existence. Once you find your way inside (hint: it’s across the street from the Chicago Board of Trade, where the money gets invented), you’re transported back to a time when James Bond’s middle name was Connery and mad men blew off some steam with a stiff lunch-break martini.
While the intricate décor, checkerboard floor, and lengthy list of martinis suggest old school, the atmosphere is decidedly contemporary. You’ll often find young working professionals trading their stocks for drinks after a hard day’s work. There is no dress code—aside from the strict snorkel ban—which only adds to the casually upscale aura permeating the bar. The establishment is also Groucho Marx-friendly, should patrons wish to smoke a stogie while having a drink.
As the name suggest, the bar prides itself on its martini lineup ($10 each). The Martini Bar pays homage to old classics like the dirty martini (a little olive juice), while keeping it fresh with new creations such as the Three Ring Circus (Patron Silver, Malibu, and pineapple juice) or the Snickertini (Smirnoff, Frangelico, Vermeer Chocolate Liquor, cocoa powder rimed glass, and a mini Snickers bar); like the latest Batmobile, they bridge the gap between old and new with modern classic traditional contemporary favorites, such as the cosmo, lemondrop, and saketini.
If you're not the 'tini-type, don't dismiss today's deal just yet. The Martini Bar also boasts an impressive menu of fine wine, beer, and top shelf liquors, offering selections ranging from the saving-up-for-a-Segway price point (Bud Light) to the gilded-monocle price point ('98 Opus One, Roeder Cristal Magnum, and Macallan 25-year scotch).
Note: The Martini Bar is open from noon – midnight weekdays, and is available Fridays and Saturdays for private parties.
Metromix describes what Martini Bar is all about and its users give it four stars:
- An after-work oasis located on a hidden stretch of road across from the Chicago Board of Trade, this martini bar draws a heavy happy-hour crowd from around the Financial District. The old-timey interior -- complete with a checkered floor, imposing wood-carved fireplace and a well-appointed lounge boasting a martini mural -- is normally brimming with traders, shirt-sleeves rolled up and collars unbuttoned, drinking away their stressful day. – Metromix
- What a great place to slip away to have a few cocktails before going back to work. – SoCool, Metromix
Yelpers give the bar 3.5 stars:
- Great place to grab a drink after work, bring a date or kick off a fun night. The place has a nice classic retro décor. One of the best bar in the Loop. – Anthony V.
Drink Like a Spy, Think Like a Spy
Martinis are the chosen drink of spies for a good reason. Spy scientists, or Spyentists, have proven that incrementally increased consumption of martinis results in a proportionate enhancement in one’s spying-related faculties. Here’s how it plays out:
1.5 Martinis: Glances become 30% more suspicious.
3.2 Martinis: Proficiency with exploding dart pen becomes consistently accurate, callous.
4 Martinis: Wrinkles in tuxedo are smoothed out as body begins to secrete highly viscous liquid confidence.
4.9 Martinis: The phrase “No man could have survived that” is bandied about so frequently it loses all impact.
6 Martinis: Enemies 25% more easily seduced, 100% more easily betrayed.
Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.