Thursday, August 21, 2008

Up, up in the sky

The yearround Vertigo rooftop lounge is set to open in mid-September. (Photo: Dana Hotel)

I've been holding on to the generous gift card given to me at the Dana Hotel/ajasteak opening party simply because I've been waiting for the opening of their gorgeous rooftop lounge Vertigo.

Scheduled to open in mid-September, the 3,100-square-foot bar will have amazing views of State Street, with much of it covered so we can go play there yearround. And what'll really set it apart from the others is that Vertigo will have a deejay spinning sexy grooves, several bars (including a martini bar), a central fire pit, and those low-slung chairs and Ottomans certain to keep party people here for hours.

Since that opening's still a few weeks away, here's where to play today:

C-View: Located on the 29th floor of the Affinia Hotel, this former penthouse will make you feel like a rock star. A limited menu of shareable dishes from the first-floor C-House is available, and of course an awesome skyline view.

NoMI: Signature champagne cocktails NoMI Bloom (St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, Hisbiscus infused syrup) and Park Flower (with rose essence, Chambord, lychee puree) should be sipped on the elegant seventh-floor rooftop lounge adjacent to the restaurant.

Zed451: Ever since this River North hot spot extended its rooftop hours to 2:30pm (11:30am on weekends!), it's been even crazier to get onto. It's totally worth the wait, especially for light bites like the short rib sliders and fondue platter filled with meats, cheese and bread.

The Glamorous, The Grooves and The Grub . . .


Glamorama—with hot headliners MC Hammer, Cyndi Lauper and DJ Berrie—is going down this weekend, but of course there's a lot more happening:


It's the last weekend for the Chicago SummerDance Festival, happening at Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan Ave.). Tonight's final event is with Shiko Mawatu, a band kicking out Congolese Rumba and Soukous; dance lessons by Issac Katalayi. Friday's Big Band swingers Outcast Jazz Band shake things up right after a dance lesson by Margot McGraw-Toppen and Riley Wimes Jr. Saturday's party is all about Latin lovin' with Angel Melendez's tribute to Hector Lavoe. That dance lesson will be by Lisa "La Boriqua," featuring merengue, Cha-Cha and salsa. And Trio Garcia performs golden and modern age tango on Sunday with a lesson by the American Tango Institute. Thursday-Saturday 6-9:30pm; Sunday 4-7pm. Call 312-742-4007 for more info. No cover.

What's certain to be an instant neighborhood fave is Old Oak Tap, which finally opens tonight. You'll want to chill out on the 1,500-square-foot outdoor patio and take advantage of that menu offering more than 40 specialty beers (!!). Owned by the guys behind The Continental and Darkroom—two other 'hood hits—this is the one people have been waiting for all summer.

Back Beat Boogie Thursdays has quietly become a Thursday-night sensation at Cat's Meow. DJ Eric Burba spins rare grooves (anything from trip hop to reggae to nujazz) and typically brings on special guest spin stars. Guests can also chill out on the large patio and take advantage of $2 PBRs, $3 Jameson shots and appetizer specials. 9pm-2am. No cover.


Good Magazine, which launched last year by a bunch of young rich Californians, throws a party at Salvage One (1840 W. Hubbard St.). If you make it, you'll be treated to giveaways, cocktails and the opportunity to check out some architectural artifacts. Performers include FLOSSTRADAMUS, Hollywood Holt and Willy Joy. And you'll be able to indulge in delicious delights from The Bleeding Heart Bakery, Crust, Raw Creations and The Balanced Kitchen. 7pm. $20. Call 646-356-7730 for more info.

The Be Bright Pink takes place at Underground, hosted by Orbit White. In support of its partnership with Bright Pink and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Orbit White Bubblemint is offering two special edition packs, a 12-count flat-pack and a 60-count Big-E-Pak. (When consumers purchase either pack between September and October, 10 percent of the purchase price will be donated to Bright Pink.) This national launch party will include Ketel One cocktails, beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres. Get tickets here. 9-11pm. $35.

Celeb spin star Samantha Ronson returns to Crimson Lounge. Party this time is hosted by Equinox Fitness Clubs. 9pm-2am. No cover.

And head to Moonshine for Bootlegged, a deep house and soul party featuring the sounds of Dave Gandy, Brad DeLisio and Jevon Jackson. 9pm-2am. No cover.


Green City Market hosts another chef demo with Craig DiFonzo of A Mano at 10:30am. The Market goes on until 1:30pm. No cover.

Get your bubbles on early at Pops for Champagne, which holds a Loire Valley Sparklers Tasting that will include s number of sparkling wines. 3-5pm. $15.


And slip into acclaimed Northcenter eatery Sola for brunch, which happens on Saturday and Sunday. The Hawaii-inspired menu includes items like Pineapple Upside Down French Toast, Chef Carol's famous Chilaquiles and tortilla hash. 10am-2pm.