Signature Lounge is the bar perched on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Tower (which, apparently is no longer called that, but like in solidarity with all stubborn Chicagoans, we refuse to call anything else). On any given evening, it’s filled with tourists, and locals with tourists in tow. Sure, the drinks are pricey and the atmosphere is, well, touristy, but the view is priceless. And that’s what you’re here for. The view. Because the 96th floor of the 4th tallest building in Chicago has great views of the city, maybe the best views you can get without buying a ticket.
Going to the Signature Lounge isn’t just something you do after work one day. It’s a process. It’s an event. First, you have to navigate the lobby floor(s) of the building and figure out which elevators you’re going up. But the good thing is, unlike the elevators to the Skydeck observatory, your ride up to the lounge is free. Once you get up there, you’ll probably continue to stand in a line, waiting to get seated. But don’t worry, it doesn’t take long. People don’t tend to stick around here for a long time (again, hectic atmosphere). Soon you’ll be staring wistfully out the windows, wondering if you’re feeling a slight sway in the building… or if it’s just the wine.
|Address||875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago|
|Price||$$$ – you’re paying Disney World prices for Disney World experiences I suppose|
|Aesthetic||I mean, the lounge itself is forgettable (not that you’d be able to see past the people anyways), but the views are unforgettable|
Go here for: drinks when you have friends visiting from out of town
Order this: whatever cocktail sounds good, you’re really here for the view anyways
Amount of time to spend: enough time to take in the views, but not so much time to start getting annoyed by the crowd
When to come: if you can, on a weekday before 4pm when everyone gives up on work and starts drinking. If you don’t mind the crowds, try to get in about 30 min before sunset for those golden hour views. Oh, and please for the love of all things aesthetic, don’t come here on a cloudy day, the fog sets low in this city and you won’t even be able to see across the street.
Getting there: take the red line to Chicago, and then walk east until you hit Michigan Ave, and then up north a couple blocks. You literally cannot miss it.
Other things to note:
Last visited: November 2015
Last updated: December 2018