Note: the price of the Dominatrix cocktail has been updated to $669. Updated story follows.
Last week, the reborn Hotel Essex reopened in South Loop. That’s the new name for the Essex Inn, which opened back in 1961. Now billed as a “luxury lifestyle hotel,” the space at 800 S. Michigan Avenue. A neighboring building contains 479 apartments. Occupants of the hotel and apartment building need to eat and drink, and that’s where the complex’s sixth-floor lounge and club comes in: SX Sky Bar opens Thursday to serve guests.
The spot is from Oxford Capital, the company behind LondonHouse and the Godfrey. Nightlife, rather than food, is the main draw to the lounges at those two spaces, and you can expect the same vibe at SX Sky Bar. The windows retract allowing views of Buckingham Fountain, the Bean, and the Museum Campus. Inside, the food menu includes snapper sashimi, duck confit carnitas, and Kentucky fried cauliflower. Dishes are supposed to be lounge friendly, but at the same time give customers enough food for a full meal, even if the tables are a bit small for a feast.
High rollers, take note: The cocktail list includes a $669 drink called the Dominatrix. It’s a large-format cocktail made with Dom Perignon Brut, Clase Azul Reposado, orange liqueur, candied oranges, lime, and agave, served in a crystal vase. There are also call-outs to the drink in the decor.
This is a two-level space. Guests enter through beads on the sixth floor. They can descend stairs toward a dance floor on the fifth level. The floor uses light-projection map and there are rotating holograms above the northern bar, according to a news release.
Walk through the lounge below. SX Sky Bar opens on Thursday.