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Tour River North’s Revamped Rooftop With $15K Bottles of Pappy and More

Apogee promises gorgeous views and serious cocktails at the Dana Hotel

Marc Much
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.

Nine years ago, Vertigo Sky Lounge opened on top of the Dana Hotel & Spa, bringing long lines on the ground floor with guests waiting for admittance on most summer weekends. But the space lost a bit of its edge, so the Dana brought in Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and BlocHaus to recreate the rooftop. Their efforts created Apogee, which debuts to the public tonight.

The Dana refreshed the space back in 2013. But with Apogee, the photos will show that BlocHaus and Co. didn’t just give the bar a minimal spring spruce up. There’s new verdant turf over the old tile and custom light fixtures. The minimalist design has been replaced to create a more comfortable space with cushioned couches and chairs.

The drinks comes from former Boka barman Benjamin Schiller (The Sixth, Berkshire Room). His bartenders are mixing plenty of sharable drinks using exotic ingredients. If patrons want a Miller Lite or Corona, they will find them. But barflies who want a serious concoction (served in actual glassware opposed to the plastic found at most outdoor venues) will be in luck. Fresh herbs, homemade syrups, and rare spirits compose the drinks.

The normal rooftop bells and whistles—fire pits, gorgeous views, bottle service—are all available. There’s also a serious reserve collection with a 25-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bottle available for $15,000.

Scope out the photos below. Apogee aims to shake up Chicago’s rooftop scene whenever the warm weather finally decides to stay for the season.

Apogee (click for reservations), 2 W. Erie St, 26th floor of the Dana Hotel & Spa, open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday; 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday.