clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
There’s a new open-air space at the Wit Hotel’s rooftop
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Filed under:

Inside the Wit Hotel’s Revamped Downtown Rooftop Bar

After 10 years, the hotel has revamped the space and added an open-air area

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.

Ten years after debuting in downtown Chicago, the rooftop bar at the Wit hotel has undergone a major facelift. Shortly after its opening in 2009, the Roof on the Wit became one of the city’s buzziest venues as locals and tourists lined up outside on the sidewalks while waiting for an elevator to whisk them upstairs to the 27th floor at 201 N. State Street. But back then, Chicago rooftop bars were a rarity, and the Wit, with its fire pits that divided the space, was a hot ticket.

Chicago hotel companies quickly saw the Wit’s popularity and began opening their own rooftop bars. As rooftop bar competition increased it became clear that the Wit needed to freshen up. Management removed the fire pits and created a new open-air space. The Roof operates more like a club at night with DJs performing and lights glaring all through the space. Designer Jackie Koo of Koo Architecture wanted to give the bar more Mediterranean vibe. The new floor tiles show off that vision.

Management also added a 160-inch video screen on the 40-foot-long bar. Former Radler chef Nathan Sears has also refreshed his menu with 15 new dishes. Piers Smyth, the Wit’s director of restaurants and beverage, has created a new beverage list with drinks like “(Itali)Kiss from a Rosé” (Seal fans and Batman Forever fans know) and “My Name is _____” (for the Eminem fans).

The new space debuted last week. Take a virtual tour of it and check out the new food and drink menus below.

The Roof at the Wit still has a retractable roof.
Tables and couches replace the fire pits.
Yes, there are more video screens.
The designer wanted to give it more of a Mediterranean feel.
That’s a 160-inch video display up there.

It’s not just about seasonal sparklers inside.

Another view of the new furniture.
Booths line the side wall underneath the many screens.

Take a look at that view.

The city is gorgeous.
Bottle service is offered.
Prime Strip Loin Beef Tartare
Red Miso Hummus and Naan
Roof Macaroon Tower
Tahitian Vanilla Bean Crepe Cake
I’m Feeling (G)Invincible has Tanqueray 10 gin, Chareau, cranberry-pomegranate honey, and lime.
Gaggle of Chads (Bulleit Bourbon, blackberry, sage, mint, lemon)
Breaking News With Wolf Spritzer (Grey Goose vodka, blueberry-infused St. Germain, grapefruit shrub, Pamplemousse La Croix, G.H. Mumm Cordon Brut)

ROOF at the Wit

201 N State Street, Chicago, IL 60601 312 239 9501 Visit Website
Chicago Restaurant Openings

Bittersweet Pastry Shop Expands Into Pilsen and 12 More Openings

Coming Attractions

Professor Pizza Will Replace Roots in Old Town

Chicago Restaurant Closings

80 Proof Bows Out of Old Town and Seven More Restaurant Closures