No one ever dresses up to go to a bar anymore–unless it’s for a wedding reception–so you’ll need to choose carefully if you’re planning an extra special date night with your significant other. At the top of your list of worthy candidates should be Pops For Champagne, the city’s legendary mecca of sparkling wine that doubles as a jazz club. Head here Sunday through Tuesday for free live music from the talented Dan Effland Trio. On other nights, the rhythm is in the sound of popping corks, as very few bars in Chicago can rival the vast champagne collection here.
Pops boasts almost 200 different varieties of champagne, but you’ll find the massive list very easy to read … and absorb. It’s broken down by category: half bottle, large format, non-vintage, vintage, rosé, grower-producer, sparkling wine (grown outside of Champagne, France), and sweeter wines. What’s awesome for your special night out is that you’ll find choices at Pops For Champagne that you won’t come across elsewhere–all the better to discover “your” champagne together. If you prefer something a little stronger, the bar also offers classic and original sparkling wine cocktails, single-malt scotch, and cognac.
Where you sit typically determines what sort of experience you’ll encounter. If you want to chat up the knowledgable bartender on champagne, then sit at the long, oval bar. Looking to be part of the sophisticated scene? Reserve one of the banquettes in the main room. But for maximum romance, head to the intimate rear bar area, where you can focus on your bubbly, and each other.
Befitting its vibe, the menu boasts plenty of plates perfect for sharing. Go for snacks like honey roasted macadamia nuts and deviled eggs, ocean-fresh selections from the raw bar, and cheese and charcuterie plates. And when you’re ready to transition to a completely different scene, you won’t even have to leave the premises. Simply head downstairs to Watershed, a stylish subterranean lounge specializing in classic and original cocktails. On most nights the bar is filled with couples, so you’ll feel right at home. A night well spent, indeed.