There's been lots of hype about, Offshore Chicago, the nation's largest rooftop patio. Yes, I said the NATION'S LARGEST--not Chicago's, but the largest across the USA.
At last night's grand opening party it became official when Offshore received the award for the Nation's largest rooftop patio from the Guinness Book of World records.
But is bigger better?
In this case I'd say an emphatic YES. Surrounded by a 360-degree view of what arguably is one of the best skylines anywhere, doesn't hurt.
Although large--the space can comfortably handle a 1000+ people--it manages to maintain an intimate feel. Throughout you'll find seating groupings that create small "rooms" for gathering.
Offshore is first a bar not the place you'll want to go for a sit down white table cloth dining experience.
The drink menu offers an upscale list of craft cocktails created for the season along with craft beers and an extensive wine list.
A 100 foot, 60-stool bar straight down the center of the interior pays homage to the importance of the bar/lounge aspect of Offshore.
However food is not forgotten. And if what we sampled last night is any indication--it is very good and beautifully presented.
On the menu, helmed by Executive Chef Michael Shrader, are small plates and shareables with a California accent focusing on seasonal, modern American cuisine with global influences.
Upon entering Offshore, guests are greeted with a wall of cascading, colorful propellers that are flanked by two slate metal vintage series pool tables on either side. The pool tables are just part of the fun and games available. Bocci ball is also expected to be a favorite with guests.
Back to the drinks. At last night's grand opening, guests were treated to drink samples that are featured on the summer drink menu as well as drinks at the bar. Along the way we tasted a Beachfire Margarita from Altos.
"Wild Thing" from Jim Beam packed a punch and was especially popular with the serious drinking crowd.
Effen offered an original take on the Cosmo with a drink they call, "Sailing Miss Daisy," a combination of Effen vodka, orange shrub, lime and cranberry. Perfect for the summer.
Outside, architectural parasols run the length of the 20,000 square foot Terrace, along with communal tables lined with clusters of globe lighting positioned in netting floating overhead.
The exterior space also offers high top tables for patrons to mingle and enjoy a cocktail. Seven fire pits, spread throughout, helped to keep things warm last night when temperatures were flirting with the upper 50's.
On the Southeast end of the terrace, a stage for live entertainment that overlooks the city’s skyline was definitely rock'n last night.
And the crowd was loving it.
One more thing. Through Labor Day, the Pier offers fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday. Personally I can't think of a better spot to view them than Offshore on the third floor at the very east end of Navy Pier above Festival Hall.
The hours of operation for Offshore are Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. - midnight, Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. – midnight. Patrons must be 21 and over to enter Offshore. Offshore is easily accessible through the pier, with ample valet service available for only $15 versus the sky's the limit rates at the Pier's parking garage.
More al fresco
For more al fresco drinking and dining for the summer of 2019, click here.
The Guinness Book of World Records has officially recognized Chicago’s Offshore atop the Navy Pier, as the World’s Largest Rooftop Bar, boasting over 52,300 square feet of indoor and outdoor space.
Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email
If you would like to keep in touch with what's happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the "create subscription" button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.