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A New River North Martini Bar Wants You to Drink Like It’s 1999

With variations of the cosmo and appletini on the menu, the team behind Yours Truly is betting patrons are thirsty for a chance to channel some Carrie Bradshaw energy

A corner booth in a dim, intimate bar with brown leather sofas and gold plant-patterned wallpaper.
A modern martini bar is coming soon to River North.
Yours Truly,

Just as Americans gird themselves for this winter’s revival of HBO’s pop-culture goldmine Sex and the City, the rom-com series known for its cosmopolitan-swigging foursome of 30-something gal pals, another revamped tribute to late-’90s drinking culture is headed to Chicago. Yours Truly, an upscale martini bar featuring modern versions of throwback hits like appletinis and cosmos, is slated to debut next week inside the Found Hotel in River North. The space previously housed LA import Mason.

Restaurateur and designer Adolfo Garcia (the Diver, Diver at the Park), who vividly recalls the strong drinks served at martini bars in the 1990s, says contemporary drinkers have higher expectations now. Yours Truly aims to ride the line between nostalgia and creativity: in lieu of the Ecto Cooler-green appletini of yore, Yours Truly patrons can expect one that arrives at the table bathed in smoke with dehydrated apple, chamomile tea, and cinnamon bitters. The martini menu will include 12 to 15 drinks, including “Not Your Mom’s Cosmo” (vodka or gin, hibiscus tea, wild berry puree, jasmine bitters) and a take on the recently trendy espresso martini (double espresso, Licor43, mole bitters, cacao simple, vodka).

A green cocktail in a small cocktail glass
Yours Truly’s appletini.
Yours Truly,

Yours Truly management wants the bar to become a neighborhood staple that draws a wide variety of diners and drinkers, Garcia says. As such, he is also putting special emphasis on an international wine list and happy hour where patrons can choose $9 glasses from a menu of 15 to 20 options — a larger selection than most wine bars offer for after-work customers. The food menu consists of bar fare that4 also attends to a range of tastes: there’s a lighter “eat clean” section with vegan burgers and cauliflower wings, versus a “train dirty” section with double cheese burgers and smoked chicken wings.

There are 110 seats spread between a lounge area, booths, and tables, covered in brown leather and beige suede upholstery. Some walls are covered in gold silk roses while others bear gold leaf and cedar wallpaper imported from London, and all the finishings are brass and marble finishings. All this, Garcia says, was intended to evoke a “warm, cozy, sexy” feel. Yours Truly also hopes to attract sports fans, so several televisions are tucked away throughout the space for game day use.

Though the timing of the opening to coincide with the premiere of SATC follow-up And Just Like That... (slated to debut in December) wasn’t planned, to Garcia, it was true serendipity — he’s even throwing a preview party themed after the original show. “We’re bringing martinis into the current time and turning a classic ’90s martini bar into a craft martini bar,” he says. “That’s essentially what’s happening with Sex and the City — now they’re reinventing it.

Yours Truly, 613 N. Wells Street, Scheduled to open Wednesday, October 20.