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For jetsetter wannabes
151 W. Erie St. 312-274-1111 The scene: Modeled after Spain's pintxo bars, the catchphrase at this River North bar adjacent to restaurant Tavernita is "Stand and eat," but "Sit and drink" works too. Even with all-you-can-eat pintxos (snacks) whipped up by guest chefs for $25 on select Mondays, most hands clutched cocktails instead. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up to sidewalk seating, which wraps around the corner of LaSalle and Erie.
The crowd: Think girls-night-out groups, co-workers decompressing and couples getting cozy on dates. There's no need to sport your finest clubwear, but you won't feel out of place in a suit or dress, either. The '90s hip-hop on a recent, beautiful Monday didn't overpower conversation, but on weekend nights, both the music and the crowd pumps up to a higher volume.--Chris Sosa
August 1, 2012