Chicago >Bars & Pubs >
Lounges >In Fine Spirits
5420 N Clark St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6066041.980494 -87.668468
Neighborhoods: Edgewater, Far North Side
Lovin' this shop. They're about as knowledgeable as it gets, and they're are always tasting events happening.
Small but solid liquor, wine and beer selections, tastings, and friendly staff make this spot a favorite.
Best Bar in the City! – Wow......we came in for a drink on what we expected to be a quiet Wednesday night and were completely blown away...Service was awesome, the bartender-or should I say mixologist-was super engaging and incredibly knowledgable. From the time we walked in we felt right at home, the staff seems genuinely excited about what they're doing at IFS: short but deep craft beer list, A-Z wine list with a lot of interesting and affordable choices, and AMAZING cocktails...all of the spirits are artisanal and the drinks are way cool! I had a really good bourbon drink called the Deshler and my date had the Moscow Mule...both were dee-lish! Jason (our Aussie barman) turned us on to their dayboat scallops, which then led to another round and a little dessert. The manager was really accomodating and made us feel like regulars even though it was our first time in, and took the time to make us samples of a crazy Absinthe cocktail called the Corpse Reviver that was actually really good. I will be back often and bring some friends with next time for great atmosphere, fantastic drinks, and really impressive food and service. IFS knocked one out of the park with their lounge that incorporates all you could ask for in a bar, and a little bit more.
Great concept-Bad service(But you can find your way around that) – While I do agree wholeheartedly with the other postings which boast about In Fine Spirits and their concept, I would have to say my experiences with some of the front of the house staff are less than satisfactory. There is an extremely pompous bartender that seems to go out of his way to make you feel like an idiot. In Fine Spirits claims that their purpose is to educate the public by making wine knowledge accessible to those who have little wine knowledge and this bartender obviously didn't get the memo about their concept.
So my friend and I decided to steer clear of the bar and opted to try out their patio and found the service on the patio was absolutely deplorable. We gave it a chance three times and had the same short dark haired waitress twice who clearly needs a bit of polishing. She came across as over the top nice but in a sort of condescending and passive-aggressive way. The service on the patio is slow and it is clear the patio servers can't handle the volume. Our drinks came out to the patio melted and watery as well.
Now I know my posting may sound harsh, but this is coming from someone who has worked in the restaurant biz for a long time. I do love their concept and didn't want to write the place off totally so we gave the bar another chance. We ended up finding a down to earth bartender who could brush up on wine knowledge but still turned us on to a great chardonnay. We also sat in the dining room and got a great server one night too. So now we poke our heads in the door to see who is working and if we see our favorite bartender or server we stay if we don't we bolt! And again, I feel bad being so critical because I know how hard it is to hire fully polished FOH staff with smarts and personality.
If you find yourself in the same situation it pays to find a server/bartender that you really like and stick with them because this is a great place to go that can easily be ruined by bad service.
Its great even when you're pregnant! – I can't try all of the amazing cocktails (but they look and smell great)... even being pregnant hasn't stopped me from enjoying this wine bar. The bar even makes its own sparkling water that they offer (or still) to every table. The variety of appetizers (high-end quality, small plates) are great and they even have all-natural tonic water, ginger ale, etc.
Now that they have the patio open, its easily seats 50 outside for a relaxing night away. I've also been to one of their private parties upstairs which also has a small balcony outside. Great place, great food, (and when I can drink it again) - great wine!
Elegant Andersonville lounge supports it retail sister next door with small plates, craft beers and wine tastings. – In Short
Yes, you are seeing double: The store next door boasts the same name, but this side is for dining and drinking. This wine and cocktail concept that encourages patrons to graze and sip on small plates, craft-brewed beers, cocktails and wines (by the glass, flight and bottle) from smaller producers. Classic touches--exposed brick walls and a tin ceiling--and two-top tables by the window and left interior wall make for a casual setting to take flight. A DJ stationed at the rear spins up-tempo beats and no Top 40. A limited charcuterie and small plates menu helps soak up the booze.
Photo by Jasmin Shah
Lots of wines by the glass and great classic cocktails done right! – The first time my partner and I went into In Fine Spirits, we knew it was going to be a hugely popular. We were greeted with a friendly smile at the door and were asked if we wanted a table or to sit at the bar. We opted for the bar cuz we like to talk with the bartender. He not only explained everything we asked of him, but also let us taste a few wines before we ordered by the glass.
The place is very comfortable and the music just enough in the background to keep the great vibe going. They had an issue with the lights the first weekend they were opened, but by the second visit the following week, that was easily remedied.
I say go and bring a few friends.
Non-European wines get shelf space at this Andersonville vino shop. – In Short
Owners Shane and Jill Kissack take their love of wines to this neighborhood store, where a majority of the stock hails from North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand. About 60 percent of the inventory is priced at less than $20 per bottle. Customers can find the wines arranged per varietal--whether that's chardonnay, cabernet, or riesling, for example--rather than by region to make novices less intimidated when making choices.
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