The South Loop has plenty of spots to grab a bite from places like Acadia and Gioco to Chicago Firehouse and City Tavern. But if you want to grab a drink somewhere that's not a sports bar or music venue, the options aren't plentiful. But now that Square One is open at 1400 S. Michigan, you just got one more new choice.
Square One, from a team that includes Alex Hernandez, owner of next door Waffles, is a sophisticated wine bar with super-high ceilings, a concrete-topped bar, wood flooring, comfy fireplace-facing couches, a gunmetal-teal-gray color scheme, Edison pendants over the bar, wood chandeliers made from reclaimed wine barrels, a chalkboard wall and a self-serve wine system.
Square One has a pretty solid list of about 22 bottled craft beers from breweries like Lagunitas, Allagash, Stone, Three Floyds, Flossmoor Station, Metropolitan and more. They offer a cocktail list featuring seasonal ingredients and small-batch spirits with all drinks priced at $11. But it's really the self-service wine stations that are the hook at this 65-seat spot (with an additional 25 on the patio along 14th Street).
The machines dispense 10 varietals (four each of red and white and two sparkling) after you pop in the ATM-like card you can request at the bar. The wines will rotate but you can expect a variety of wine regions in red and white form to always be represented. When you're done, just hand the card back to the bartender and pay your tab. Want more? Choose from about 40 full bottles priced mainly between $25 and $75
If you get hungry, Square One will offer some small nibbles like marcona almonds, olives, cheese and charcuterie plates and both Caesar and caprese salads. And if that doesn't satisfy your hunger pangs, fortunately you can hit one of those aforementioned restaurants just up the street.