Saturday, January 14, 2012

Violet Hour (Wicker Park)

Sneaky. The Violet Hour is sneaky. There is no sign out front, only a door and a mural. Once you find the joint and go through the door, you're in a tiny waiting area with a curtain separating you from whatever lies beyond. Then, the nicest and sweetest bouncer alive (seriously, he was a sweetheart) comes out from behind the curtain every so often and takes the next party. We did not end up waiting that long, maybe 10 minutes tops.
Your only cue to the Violet Hour.

While waiting to be called in, my friend and I discussed our hopes that moon jumps and slides would be inside. We didn't really know what to expect and imagined the best scenario possible. Violet Hour is described as a speakeasy, so I was imagining a small space with tufted vintage couches and chairs and velvet, lots of velvet. There was velvet, but in light blue curtains that draped from ceiling to floor. It's more 19th century France than a speakeasy. Seating consisted of booths, and wide, leather stools around tables. The design was spacious, simple, minimalist, with nothing on the walls, and glass chandeliers in each room. I'm usually content at a dive bar, some hole-in-the-wall spot, so I felt like a VIP celebrity in there. We sat at the bar and had our own bartender catering to us, who also was a peach. My friends and I each ordered a delicious cocktail, which our bartender made right in front of us.

Listen, this place is classy, but not to a point of being pretentious. Initially, we were kind of intimidated by the prospect of going, which made us want to try it even more. Oh, one major thing, while inside, you're not supposed to use your phone, which made us focus more on each other's conversations. The release from being connected to my phone was sadly exhilarating. When we left, we didn't realize how much time had passed. We were lost in this weird, 19th century French vacuum with cute waiters and waitresses and dudes and ladies, that felt like it was somewhere outside of Chicago, and when we left, we were thrust back into the real world.

Them's the rules!

The Violet Hour's website, but don't visit it because it's more fun to be surprised!

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