Drinking at Chicago’s Offshore, One of the Country’s Largest Rooftop Bars

One of the drinks attracting an outsized bit of attention at Offshore, the newly opened rooftop bar atop Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier, is the whimsical cocktail the team decided to name Secure the Bag.

As David Marsh, chief operating officer of the company that manages Offshore explains it, the drink is effectively a Hurricane made using Malibu Passion Fruit. It’s served at Offshore inside a bag that’s sealed up, so it becomes a bit of a novelty in that it looks like a giant adult version of those Capri Sun drinks we all loved as kids.

As far as the drinks go, that’s the kind of effort that’s been put into what’s now one of the largest rooftop bars in the U.S., as well as the world. Offshore boasts more than 36,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, in addition to offering visitors a uniquely situated perspective of the Windy City as well as Lake Michigan.

About the latter, that’s where the enterprise gets its name. Offshore is, well, right off the shore of the lake and offers magnificent views looking back at the city. As an added bonus, Navy Pier is also one of the few locations in Chi-town where you can actually leave an establishment with your drink, so you can happily order a Secure the Bag and leave with it to wander along the Pier.

“We ended up building a 365-days-a-year structure with all-glass walls and a transparent ceiling, so people can be out here year-round,” Marsh said about the space, which just opened a few weeks ago.

When you walk in, what greets you is a space that’s anchored by an expansive bar in the center that seats 60. There are also a few pool tables, lounge seating as well as tall tables and doors that open up to give you views of the Chicago skyline.

Continuing to take in the scene as you first walk in, guests also won’t be able to miss the wall of cascading, colorful propellers or the floating globe lights scattered throughout. The bar itself is 100 feet long and includes curvy white finishes with brass. For a comfortable place to drink, guests are also welcomed out onto the terrace with soft seating on the far northeast corner of the Pier, providing a great view of the city as a breathtaking backdrop for your time drinking alone or with friends.

Other Offshore drinks we should mention include cocktails like the Dark Side of the Moon with Evan Williams Bib, Orange, Black Walnut Bitters and the Aloha Felicia, a blend of Cruzan Aged Rum, Cooper & Kings Brandy, Black Walnut Orgeat, Orange Curacao and Lemon.

A highlight of the deck also worth noting is the 450-square-foot planter with lush greenery that’s presented in the shape of a ‘Y’ – a nod to the river that winds its way through the Second City – the perfect spot for cocktails with a view.

Offshore details

1000 East Grand, Chicago, IL 60611; 312-535-6660; www.drinkoffshore.com; @drinkoffshore


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