When Chicago’s Northwest Tower opened in 1929, it became an important landmark on the North Side for locals and tourists alike. The building, stationed just by the Damen stop on the Blue Line, was one of the first skyscrapers to be constructed outside of the downtown area, and the 12-story building quickly earned the nickname of the “Coyote Building,” as its spire turned towards the moon and evoked an image of the tireless hunter, howling to the moon in a melancholy solitude.
The building, which now plays host to the acclaimed Robey Hotel, is now looking to bring more history to life. It was announced last week that The Robey – which has been named one of the top hotels in Chicago by several prominent outlets – would be launching a brand new bar concept, properly titled “Clever Coyote.” The bar, which opened October 6, is also a blast from the past, as it features an atmosphere ripped straight from the ‘80s and ‘90s and a beautiful light installation.
Promising a high dose of nostalgia, the bar features a “classic rock atmosphere” – playing songs popular at the time over a speaker system – and features a wide variety of games for guests to enjoy, including arcade games like Street Fighter and more familiar bar staples like shuffleboard. The main attraction, however, is the wide array of cocktails created by beverage director Mike Choi, who drew on a tropical theme to create a menu that even the most sophisticated of guests can enjoy.
Highlights include the Black Hole Sun (pictured above) – a mix of mezcal, tequila, roasted grapefruit syrup, lime, and activated charcoal – and the Suckerpunch, a clarified gin milk punch with pineapple and lime. Other fun names include the Rye Tai, Purple Rain, and Fish Bowl; you’ll have to find out what those are for yourself!
View this post on Instagram
“I am extremely excited about Clever Coyote and what we have done to change the ambiance of the space completely,” beverage director Mike Choi said in a statement. “To see something so unique to Wicker Park is a thrill! The drinks are fun, the food is different from the norm, and the overall vibe of the experience really helps tie everything together.”
There are a few bar staples, of course, as Sazeracs and whiskey sours are available upon request. The bar will also be serving food, including chicken wings – served with a choice of buffalo, chili honey glaze, or chipotle barbecue sauce – and the hotel’s signature steamed buns. The buns come in a wide variety of choices, including Philly cheesesteak, fried chicken and tempura shrimp.
View this post on Instagram
Clever Coyote is open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight Fridays and Saturdays. For those looking for a fun stop in Wicker Park, this might be just the stop… escape to the 90s, and find your own moon to howl to!
Photography by: Happy Hour Collective & Kim Yeoh