New in Chicago: The Peninsula Hotel’s Z Bar Rooftop

Z Bar at The Peninsula Chicago. Photo credit: Grant Kessler Photography

Summer temperatures in the city are sizzling, and it’s no secret that urbanites flock to rooftops for drinks with a view. The latest sky-high destination in Chicago is Z Bar at The Peninsula Chicago Hotel. Announcing the debut in June, Eater talked up the “Manhattans made with 24-karat gold flakes, a sharable drink served out of a real disco ball, and tater tot-like fried fritters filled with bone marrow and Bordelaise” served at this luxurious new watering hole. The project was two years in the making and The Peninsula recruited top industry talent to craft the menus and music program.  

Set above Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, Z Bar has a privileged perch for taking in the city sites, including Lake Michigan, the Hancock, and the historic Water Tower. There’s even an outdoor terrace for maximizing the views. Did we mention that wait staff wear Studio 54-inspired outfits?

But the drinks might be the star of the show. Craft cocktails include the “Manhattan Royale” (served with 18-year-old bourbon with truffled or saffron bitters, and ice flecked with 24-karat gold). Or you can order a bucket filled with five carbonated bottled CoZmos (or Cosmopolitans). Pair your drinks with Asian-fusion bites that are a twist on classic bar snacks (Daikon Frites and Beef Cracklings, resembling pork rinds). Listen to a lively soundtrack designed by DJ and international music producer Alyson Calagna. And you can even sign up for one of the monthly cocktail classes with the bar team. 

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The five-star Peninsula Chicago wrapped up a $37 million renovation two years ago. Booking tip: The Junior Suites are the most popular room category among guests. 

Z Bar is open Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, noon to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, noon to midnight. 

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