SX Sky Bar (808 S. Michigan Ave.), the new bi-level restaurant, lounge, and nightclub, opens today in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. Operated by the adjacent Hotel Essex, SX Sky Bar provides a fresh destination for dining, imbibing, and dancing.

“Guests at SX Sky Bar will find that they have the freedom to enjoy the space as they please,” says Grant Gedemer, Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC’s corporate director of food and beverage. “Whether sipping on a cocktail with a date in one of the more intimate booths, reserving a lounge area for a celebratory dinner, or spending the night dancing with friends, SX has your day and night covered.”

The culinary program at SX Sky Bar is led by Chef de Cuisine Christopher Suzuki, who brings Californian and Asians flavors to a curated menu of sushi and shareable plates—which pair with a thoughtful selection of seasonal craft cocktails.

Chef Suzuki’s all-day menu includes such items as Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps with housemade kimchi and fermented pepper aioli; Kentucky Fried Cauliflower with blue cheese, shaved carrots, celery leaf, and house buffalo sauce; and the Asparagus Experience made with asparagus purée, tofu mousse, prosciutto, crusty country bread, soft boiled egg, and tempura asparagus tips. For those seeking out something more substantial, SX Sky Bar also offers Duck Confit Carnitas with avocado salsa verde and apple and radish slaw; and Baja Fish Tacos made with tempura-fried fish, charred salsa, cabbage slaw, and a lime and cilantro crème.

The sushi menu at SX Sky Bar includes more traditional makimono, as well as some signature sushi bites, such as Tuna Tataki with seared tuna, Matsuhisa dressing, crispy shallots, radish and endive; Scallop Tiradito with charred orange, aji amarillo, cilantro, mint, and cucumber; and Snapper Sashimi served with dried miso dust, scallion, and pickled wasabi. A late-night menu – served from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday – offers a selection of menu items from the all-day menu.

“The menu at SX Sky Bar mimics the playfulness and energy of the restaurant and lounge space,” says Suzuki. “My goal is to create dishes that don’t overwhelm or intimidate diners, but surprise them in unexpected flavors, ingredients, and presentation.”

SX Sky Bar’s imbibing guests can choose from a variety of craft cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits. Guests can expect tasteful twists on classic drinks – like the SX Old Fashioned made with rich demerara syrup – as well as signature drinks, such as The Big Heat comprised of Casamigos Blanco tequila, passion fruit purée, lime, and firewater bitters; or the Agent Provocateur made with Remy Martin VSOP, pear liqueur, peach, and lime.

Those looking to pull out all the stops can order the extravagant Dominatrix – a large format cocktail containing a bottle of Dom Perignon Brut, Clase Azul Reposado, orange liqueur, candied oranges, lime, and agave, served in a crystal vase. The Dominatrix can be purchased for $669.

When not eating and drinking in the whimsical, vibrant lounge areas, SX Sky Bar guests can descend a grand staircase to a dance floor featuring light projection mapping. Tech-forward elements also appear in the form of a rotating hologram above the space’s northern bar.

The revelry also extends to the women’s bathroom, where a luxe entryway offers seating and a makeup counter. During peak hours, SX Sky Bar will activate the plush space with a mini cocktail bar and complimentary hair and makeup services for guests who may want a touch-up.

SX Sky Bar is open 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sunday. Guests can make brunch, happy hour, and dinner reservations at SX Sky Bar via OpenTable. Nightlife reservations can be made by emailing

SX Sky Bar is a part of the Oxford-led mixed-use lifestyle development which includes Hotel Essex and the 56-story luxury apartment tower Essex on the Park. The Oxford team worked with The Gettys Group to design the two-level bar and lounge space.  

Industry News, NextGen Casual