Arbella, 112 W Grand Ave, is River North’s newest cocktail bar.
Did River North need another cocktail bar? No, but it wanted Arbella.
Named for a 17th century ship on which the passengers drank many, many gallons of wine, Arbella takes a worldly approach to drinks.
The cocktail menu is influenced by several regions throughout the world, and has enough range—from sochu to mezcal, rum to rye––that anyone who likes a cocktail will find something absolutely delicious at Arbella.
And dramatic. Arbella's cocktails are enhanced with smoke, dry ice, and other flourishes that make the cocktail a full sensory experience. (Check out the video for some drama.)
Great cocktails, to be sure, but what River North was lacking in a cocktail bar Arbella delivers: warmth and comfort. The space is welcoming with various woods, subtle yet striking lighting, and leather banquettes.
Arbella’s music is just the right volume, the lighting just low enough, that, nestled into a booth, one could forget how bustling the neighborhood is just outside the door. Arbella is a nice little getaway.
To go with the international cocktails is a selection of international snacks including egg rolls, bao, and poke. Anyone who likes chicken wings can’t pass up the Korean Fried Chicken (K.F.C., get it?) that is sweet, salty, crunchy, and moist all at once.
I was invited for a media tasting event at Arbella where I met the very charming general manager Diego Pilares while sampling cocktails and snacks.
Arbella has arrived; River North is no longer wanting.
Featured cocktail courtesy of Arbella