SX Sky Bar at Hotel Essex

4.1
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42 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
The most original venue in Chicago’s Cultural Mile. SX Sky Bar is a Chef Driven Fashionable Cocktail Lounge. This colorful, two-floor space features a dance floor, event space for intimate social gatherings and retractable walls that offer guests an open-air experience.​
What 42 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
3.9
service
4.4
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
64% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food! Wish the tables were higher for brunch but love that bottomless mimosas. Bacon pancakes were perfect. Husband ordered the French toast without the whip and said they were perfect. Wish the brunch menu had a la cart pricing for things like eggs, bacon etc but overall experience was pretty good.

JP
Calgary
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful time at Saturday brunch! Tried almost everything and our server/manager Alaina was absolutely the best! Made us feel welcome special and was very informative!!!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my birthday, great staff and atmosphere

FA
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

The food took an extended amount of time to arrive and when it did there was hair in a dish. Disappointing, but we made it through our time there. Nicely decorated, good energy and vibe.

DB
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took our employees for a night out and just had a great time. This is such a beautiful spot, and everyone was friendly and accommodating. Great time. We will definitely be back.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a fun, beautiful space for bottomless mimosa brunch! The food was incredible and not too expensive.

JH
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is beautiful! The food, drinks, and service were excellent. Perfect brunch choice to celebrate a birthday!

DO
Montreal
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Beautiful place ! Great seating overlooking the park !

T
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was there and there was a live band which made my visit extra nice. It was a nice crowd. I'm not sure if the management was expecting such a large crowd because there weren't many waitstaff on hand. Our server was overwhelmed, but she was very friendly, always had a smile on her face (even when she seemed like she wanted to quit right in the middle of her shift), and was as attentive as she could be with such a large crowd and not having much help.

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

They canceled on me last minute. They confirmed my reservation 3 times in the few days leading up to the reservation, and then called just hours before saying that they would need to re-schedule for a different date. Incredibly rude and inconsiderate to my wife and my first anniversary plans. Will absolutely never go there and will recommend anyone I can to avoid this place due to lack of customer service.

OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch was awesome! Bacon pancakes were delicious.

DH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

overpriced trying to be uber hip - it's just drinks

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

The food was mediocre at best. The pork belly was nice and thick but did not have enough acid. The eggs were good and you can taste the butter which was good. The pancakes were fluffy and the bacon cooked into it might have made them soggy.

SL
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I met some friends here, as we live in the neighborhood and have been waiting to try it out. It was very fun. The decor is fabulous. The staff was very friendly, and very knowledgeable, as well as accommodating. It is definitely a new spot on our list of favorites

D
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Beautiful spot. Most bites were good but the summer rolls with hummus were not. Cauliflower was the best.

MH
Dallas
7 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the bar and ambience. Great food and drinks!

DC
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The food was ok, once it arrived. Apparently the kitchen was backed up due to two larger parties, but the restaurant was not at all packed.

JA
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

I went for brunch here and was highly disappointed with the quality and taste of the food. I think that the service was great however, if I go to a restaurant I would like to have both quality service and food. I will not be going here again.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

We had brunch there at 11am on Saturday. There were more staff than guests at the restaurant. A waitress came over with waters to take our drink order, 30 minutes later another waitress came over to ask what we had ordered for drinks... 30 minutes After that, we finally got our first round of drinks. Starving, we finally get our drink order. Another table had the same issue and actually brought us their untouched plates of food Because they chose to leave. While the food was great, and the drinks were good, the service was absolutely terrible. The only commendable employee was Nathan. I hope they figure out all the kinks and make sure everyone has specific roles to avoid this happening to another party.

TA
Detroit
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Nicely decorated space, but the service was slow. They weren’t even that busy, but our drinks took a long time and the food (appetizer/small plates) took 45 minutes to receive. We had made reservations for our anniversary and were seated in the back corner at a tiny cocktail table barely large enough for drinks.

C
New England
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The ambiance is great: good view, cool decor, but the positive comments I have end about there. Happy hour menu is a fair deal, regular prices seem quite high. I ordered three things from the HH menu, the first item came out quick, and it was good. The next two arrived together after a longer wait and the food tasted pretty good but it was not warm. I suspect it was sitting ready to be served for a while before I got it. At that time I ordered a second drink, but I never received it, or saw our server again. Eventually we had to ask a busser for the bill, who got it for us. My second beer (that I didn't receive) was on the bill. I wasn't that upset I didn't get the beer, but I wasn't going to pay for it, so I had to track someone down who could fix the bill. None of these things individually were all that bad, but a number of annoying things kind of piled up.

I think this place is new, so they might just be having some growing pains, or its possible I had the odd sub-par experience. I'd probably be willing to give it another try in a few months or so, but I currently wouldn't recommend.

CW
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

We went for brunch. We had to get up ourselves to get (1) water (2) orange juice (3) salt (4) diet coke. The service was non-existent. The food was okay, but the $14.95 for one mimosa and $14.95 for one Bloody Mary jacked the reasonable food bill to over $73, with very little service of any kind beyond taking our order. It appeared there was only one wait person. The Big Come-on was the $25 bottomless drink that Sunday, but there was no service to GET any drinks (or salt) so good luck in getting more than one. We drove from the Quad Cities for this brunch experience. Does it sound like a good one?

CS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

There were many tables with views out over the park and lake, but for mysterious reasons, the host first tried to seat us behind a wall with no view. (Why do they even have tables with absolutely no view?) He did somewhat accommodate us when we asked to be moved to a table with an outdoor view, but even then he did not put us at any of the tables near the window, one of which conspicuously remained empty the entire time we were there. Maybe we did not look cool or young enough - we are old enough to have adult children who could come to the bar, though we would not recommend it to them. Also be aware that despite the misleading "sky" in the name, this bar is no rooftop bar - it just has windows on one side. Also, it is very noisy. So if you have nothing to say to your companions, you might enjoy it.

LD
Chicago
143 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Open air ambiance is fun and the bar food tapas are quite tasty! A bit pricey for what it is but the atmosphere makes it worth it. Slow service as waitresses are rookies and too few in number.

WB
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a cool indoor/outdoor space for nice days. LOVED the furniture. Everything is so unique.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Reservation no table open, Tiny tables, oversized gold chairs feet can’t touch floor or stool provided, sat pretzel leg, glad not wearing dress, no drinks for 45 mins, food came out scattered and never received one dish so the brought out two others, that were cold, still charged for dish never received. First cocktail good second one awful of same order so not consistent. Plenty of other places in Chicago don’t waste time here.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

The place was understaffed and, at least our wait staff person, not competent. They could not find our reservation when we arrived, but did seat us. Food order was evidently lost and so we had to re-order. You could watch sitting at the restaurant the wait staff going from table to table with food trying to figure out who ordered what only to then take it back to the kitchen upon failure to find the correct table. Of course, the order could have been simply wrong in the first place as it was in our case when we ordered the pork lettuce wraps only to have the pork bao come out. The food is quite good. However, it does not overcome the service. The manager did comp us one drink which was nice, but man, they need to get their act together.

CW
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a Great Time. Food was delicious. Crystal our server did a fine job and the manager was on top of his game. Would definitely return.

T
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The ambiance is awesome. The food is great. The drinks are tasty. The service is slow ASF! I’ve been here on several occasions and each time I have had to ask the manager where was our server because I either needed another drink or I inquired, where was our food. On my last visit, we cancelled an order because it took too long for them To bring the order out. The manager apologized and comped the meal, but the person who ordered it had to leave...

p
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

While the atmosphere is very trendy they did fashion over form. I was there for brunch (3 adults) and all the tables are tiny. I had to specifically ask them to bing out the main dishes AFTER we were done with appetizers. They did not and I had to put my meal on the bench I was sitting on (next to me) a bus boy had to bring out a small table for the other entree and my dad just doubled up on the small plate he had.

Additionally an eggs Benedict was ordered and they served it on a small flat platter- so the yolk was seeping of the “plate”. So while the food tasted fine (nothing amazing) I think this restaurant fails on being able to serve food in a manner that is comfortable.

Nix the food and just serve drinks.

Wait staff is friendly but I don’t think they have a clue on how to run a restaurant.

SX Sky Bar at Hotel Essex
Responded on June 20, 2019

Hi Preciousp, as the new F&B director I am working on just about all your points which are spot on. I have ordered larger tables and am trying to get some of the tables at restaurant height while keeping the integrity of the space. Our new chef is handling the plate ware as well. I just wanted to reach out and let you know I hear you. Thank you for posting and my apologies for your experience. I do hope you return in a month or so once we have everything sorted out

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CL
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great build out, staff, food & drink. Felt a little mislead that it had been represented as more open air/rooftop. The management was attentive and personal, service on point and pleasant.

DN
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We arrived during Happy Hour, which is generously until 6 on Friday. We got 4 different appetizers plus the caulifower side...all delicious. The dessert was the only thing that was less so because of the frozen strawberries , and they comped it after I mentioned it. Though I did not request it, they simply took it off the bill. Service was outstanding without being obtrusive...dishes were whisked away as soon as they were empty, water glasses were filled. I had made a mistake on the reservation date, but they seated us at a nice table anyway. Love this place...beautiful space, too

GS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

This new South Loop bar is a great addition to the area. The ambiance was great; nice seatings and a quiet setting even with music in the background. The food and drink menus were good, but it would be nice to add a draft beer listing. The only minor issue was the service. Granted, we stayed there for a long time, but towards the end of our stay, it became difficult to get the attention of our server. This was not a big problem, and is common to new establishments. I would still highly recommend a visit!

E
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food and drinks were excellent! The happy hour specials make for a really delightful experience. Service was ok, but egregious errors with our bill created a frustrating experience to end our night. I would actually try this place again, because this was probably a fluke.

JW
Adelaide / SA
2 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere. Nice place to relax and have a glass of champagne.

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a small gathering of 8 people for happy hour. Food and drinks were great. Wish they had drink specials too. Our first server was fantastic however the second one left something to be desired. It seems this place was a little higher than her abilities. The music after 7pm was quite loud and made it difficult to talk. Overall a great new gem in South Loop with a very Alice in Wonderland feel.

FN
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about SX Sky Bar from the amazing food, great happy hour prices, and decor. I visited 2 days in a row and plan to go back again in a week! This is definitely going to be new go-to spot!

CR
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment you get out of the elevator, you feel like you are in Alice in Wonderland, meaning it’s so lovely! They have smaller tables with oversized comfy colorful velour chairs throughout the restaurant. It’s not exactly a rooftop bar, but they do have these large windows that open and you can feel the breezy air from above. This place is so well decorated for a friends get together, brunch, a date to impress your girl, or tea time if they offered it. The food was very good and the drinks were delicious. Service was impeccable! We went for a happy hour but stayed until evening; music changes to more clubbing/lounge music. Can’t wait to return for brunch!

YP
Wilmington
5 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great layout. The food was excellent and the service was spot on. Will definitely be coming back.

DV
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great ambiance. Food delicious and overall service is average.

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