After-work encore

Lindsay Sakraida

Hip” isn’t exactly a word the Encore Lunch Club and Liquid Lounge conjures up – unless it’s part of the sentence “Lord almighty, I just cracked my artificial hip walking up the stairs,” coming from the mouth of a cane-clutching patron in a white and rainbow colored track suit. Yes, Encore might be better suited by the words “older crowd.” While the aforementioned example is admittedly a remote case, the majority of bar-goers are around 30. Encore is situated in the Loop, which may account for the numerous after-work chug-a-lugs looming around my just-of-age self. Despite any generational setbacks (drinking with a grandma was actually rather amusing), the bar is hopping and the lush colors and rich textures of the decor are inviting to a weather-worn traveler. The back wall is lined with intimate booths, and there’s a bar on either end of the medium-sized space, embracing my mantra that more is better.

Unless of course we’re talking about the money that I’m slapping down for a drink. Whether it’s on tap or in the bottle, a beer will cost around $5 – and expect to pay at least $8 for a mixed drink. Still, Encore has daily deals, and to my delight my companion and I stumbled across one. Unbeknownst to me, it was Phat Friday, and the Absolut drinks we had ordered were six bucks a pop. My chosen vodka tonic suddenly seemed like a deal, and taking into account it was heavy on the alcohol, I didn’t see the harm to my wallet by going in for another – an encore, if you’re so inclined.

Encore is located at 171 W. Randolph St. The bar is open from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday.

– Lindsay Sakraida