The lounge here has always been an excellent choice for having a few rounds, hanging out and unplugging for a spell. But when Griffin Elliott (formerly of Scofflaw and before that, Boka) took it over just shy of a year ago, it really jumped up to another level in my book. He has an excellent palate, a lovely, evolving menu and he stocks a wonderful selection of spirits. He's also a knowledgeable guy who happens to be a great host.
It's a comfy and cozy, 4:30-pm bar (except for on Sundays, when it opens at 5) that's a bit more refined than many of my other favorite bars in town. But it's not stuffy or pretentious at all. There's just something really nice about being in that beautifully finished space and drinking a pour of fine whiskey, over a clear, large, hand-carved rock from a substantial, decoratively-cut glass. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a grown-up bar and has a feel all its own.
By Griffin's side is Savannah Witmer, who is no slouch herself, having run the bar at Boka for a time after Griffin's departure. She's got some great bartending skills and is a friendly and affable host.
If you're in the mood for a slightly more refined bar experience in a zero-pretense environment, I highly recommend pulling up a stool at Sepia.
123 N Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60661
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