The crew behind Bangers & Lace, Emporium Arcade Bar, and Spilt Milk have been busy in 2024. Footman Hospitality has already announced that they’re taking over SmallBar in Logan Square. They’ve also opened a new bar in Fulton Market.
Footman partner, Peter Vestinos, describes Bisous as a kind of companion to Sparrow, their Gold Coast cocktail bar which provides an escape from the helter-skelter of Rush and Division. For Bisous, the team used 1960s Paris as a leaping point for the design and menu. Think of popular beverages of the time like martinis, highballs, and aromatized wines. Vestinos tells Eater he’s more interested in how the drinks make customers feel versus particular ingredients used 60 years ago in France. The wine list is mostly French, with a heavy dose of sparkling wines and Champagnes. There’s also a nice selection of natural wines.
Vestinos, also a bar consultant and bartender, says he’s seen the West Loop and Fulton Market change over the last two decades and he’s excited to return to the area — he was the bar manager at BellyQ, chef Bill Kim’s restaurant at the end of Randolph Street. Vestinos says that the area needed a standalone cocktail bar.
“There are great bars in the West Loop, but almost all of them are inside a restaurant, in a hotel, or are reservations-based,” he says. “We saw an opportunity to bring a sophisticated cocktail and wine bar into the current West Loop landscape.”
There’s a small menu of marinated cheeses and olives, tinned fish, pork rillettes, and caviar. These bar bites will be served late into the evening. The bar is walk-in only and the name shows a little bit of what the team wants to accomplish. It’s French for little kisses on the cheek, the type of affection displayed when greeting or saying goodbye. Take a look at the space below.
Bisous, 938 W. Fulton market, open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday; 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday; 2 p.m. to midnight on Sunday..