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Inside Otto Mezzo, A Sleek Lounge That Spirits Chicagoans to Italy

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Rockit’s newest gives late-night bars new competition in River North

Otto Mezzo
Nick Fochtman
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

It’s not quite a Fellini film, but Otto Mezzo aims to give guests an Italian-style escape from River North. Rockit Ranch Productions’ transformed cocktail lounge opened Wednesday night, making visitors forget Rockit’s previous concept at 311 W. Chicago Ave, Ay Chiwowa. Billy Dec’s crew has filled the room with art deco furnishing and modernized the bar, making it sleeker and sexier than its predecessor.

The bar still carries an elusive 4 a.m. liquor license which allows it to remain open after most bars close. Yet Otto Mezzo breaks the mold of a typical late-night dive, offering patrons more than cheap beers and well drinks. Composed cocktails from barman Brandon Phillips and small bites from acclaimed chef Kevin Hickey make it a more-refined late-night option. Read the menu here. Management also promises a mix of Italian jazz and hip-hop to further elevate the mood in addition to cocktails made with Italian spirits, plenty of Italian beer on tap, and a small wine list.

Glance at the photos below and see if Otto Mezzo can truly transport Chicagoans to Italy.

Nick Fochtman

Otto Mezzo

311 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL Visit Website