Chicago needs more bars like the Reid Bar, street level in River Roast, on LaSalle by the river. Reid is part of River Roast but it’s also not. River Roast is a bi-level restaurant. You walk in then walk downstairs to dine. The Reid is right at the door, right when you walk in, and here’s why it’s great.

Reid is a pocket bar. It’s small. There’s probably only one bartender. There are eight barstools and two small tables. At the bar, you peer through a wall of whisky out across the river and though the sun may be setting at the west end of the waterway behind various towers filled with attorneys and bankers, it fills the bar with a golden light and the guy behind the counter will lay a decent slab of vinyl on their turntable and you can just chill out. Or get lit. In a nod to the red light district past of River North, the Reid will flip the switch on a red light on the exterior of the building when the bar is open.

What matters is this. If you’re one of the 976 million attorneys working across the street at 300 North LaSalle or any of the adjacent skyscrapers you need a decent bar. By decent, I mean a place you can just walk into and drink, not a restaurant where you get a table and a waiter and an agenda. I mean a bar, where you just walk up, grab a stool, and order a highball.

Or, one of the delightful concoctions at Reid such as HOUNDS OF LOVE which is mezcal, blanc vermouth, absinthe, grenadine, lime, and burlesque bitters. Or a SMOKESTACK made with aged rum, bonded rye whiskey, Pineau des Charantes, smoked pineapple, lemon, cayenne, local honey and mint soda.

I suspect, however, as much of their business will happen when the sun’s in the east, as Reid offers Dark Matter coffee and donut holes, including the exceptional and eye-opening Dark Matter Unicorn Blood and what else do you really need?