Benchmark

Bar / Beer Garden / Restaurant / Rooftop Bar
Benchmark Boasting a double distinction as Chicago's first rooftop beer garden and its first rooftop beer garden with a giant retractable roof, Benchmark draws a lively and amicable crowd of sports fans year round, whether to enjoy... Chicago United States 41.909511 -87.634985
3.83 7
Benchmark - Bar | Beer Garden | Restaurant | Rooftop Bar in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Boasting a double distinction as Chicago’s first rooftop beer garden and its first rooftop beer garden with a giant retractable roof, Benchmark draws a lively and amicable crowd of sports fans year round, whether to enjoy... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Brown, Purple Express Lines: Sedgwick; Red Line: Clark/Division

  • Phone:

    312-649-9640

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–Th 5pm–2am, F 3pm–2am, Sa 11am–3am, Su 11am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Benchmark Review

The Scene

Boasting a double distinction as Chicago's first rooftop beer garden and its first rooftop beer garden with a giant retractable roof, Benchmark draws a lively and amicable crowd of sports fans year round, whether to enjoy...

Boasting a double distinction as Chicago’s first rooftop beer garden and its first rooftop beer garden with a giant retractable roof, Benchmark draws a lively and amicable crowd of sports fans year round, whether to enjoy the sun and open air or to laugh at the snow on the other side of the glass.

A polished and modern haven for Blackhawks fans, the bar features nearly fifty TVs over its two levels, including a massive ten-foot unit above the main marble bar, where boisterous groups of friends congregate to cheer at the big game and power through a round of seasonal cocktails.

Work buddies and girlfriend groups looking to chow down on some upscale Southwestern fare usually head to the sleek wooden tables by the windows for a street view, or pile into the plush chocolate booths, each with its own flat-screen.

An illuminated staircase, meanwhile, leads bigger groups up to the mezzanine beer garden for drinking, mingling, and a bird’s-eye view of the revelry below or, when the roof is retracted, a view of the birds above.

Given the number of TVs and the year-round beer garden, it’s no wonder Benchmark is a popular getaway for sports lovers, rain or shine.

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Tip from Lucas:

Get yourself a $5 loyalty card from the waitress. It gets you $10 off your next visit and gives you $5 for every $100 you spend. Best of all, it works at any of Benchmark’s seven affiliated bars!

  • Crowd

    Sports fanatics, young professionals, college graduates, Blackhawks fans, birthday groups, and pre-clubbers, early 20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Over forty flat-screen TVs. DJ spins Top 40 and hip-hop on the mezzanine level.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Southwestern/Mexican menu including chipotle chicken and tortillas, and cheeseburgers, as well as Asian fusion that includes Korean steak and edamame. Occasional outdoor seating and loyalty card available. ATM and elevator on site. Food served till last call. Valet parking.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $8–$9, soups and salads $5–$14, pizza $11, sandwiches $10–$16, desserts $9. Beer $4–$8, wine $8/glass or $28–$34+/bottle, mixed drinks $6.50–$20, shots $5. Valet $12.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Trendy casual/hip: plaid button-downs, graphic t-shirts, nice jeans and loafers, club wear, cocktail dresses, chiffon blouses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Fridays and Saturdays for a sports bar feel with club undertones.

  • Close By

    Brownstone Tavern (3937 North Lincoln Avenue) is owned and operated by the same group and offers a slightly more casual sports bar atmosphere.

Benchmark User Reviews

Average rating:
Aesthetic Paradise in Old Town
Andrew D. Apr 25, 2013
Speaking from a strict aesthetic standpoint to begin, Benchmark sets the bar at, well, a nice benchmark! During the winter months you couldn't tell, but this place comes alive during the Summer. The impressive space features a convertible portion on the second floor and another skylight on the other side of the bar. Great for drinking at any time. Solid beer selection. The place doesn't make itself out to be a craft beer paradise, so what they have suits them. Also, the food is extraordinary; particularly the Spanish pizza and the fish tacos. Also, the bartenders like pouring shots and don't hesitate to throw in a few free ones if you're already ordering a tray! With a beautiful bar come beautiful people. This is where the bar shines. The women here are not only beautiful, but approachable! Old Town is a great neighborhood, and the talent really pours in at this joint. A downside, however, is the bro crowd that ends up here on weekend evenings. Could do without that element, but hey, it's to be expected. Another masterpiece from the Four Corners Tavern group - keep at it guys!
Good atmosphere, but nothing unique
Paige M. Feb 5, 2013
Benchmark is a nice bar with two levels that holds enough people so that its never too crowded. The food is excellent (I recommend the calamari or the hummus platter) and the overall atmosphere is fun and lively. I prefer the second level; it tends to be less populated and I've always been able to find a seat. The bar tends to house 20-30 year olds, and is fairly popular, so it is a great place to go to meet new people or just go for a night out with friends. There is a plethora of TVs, so watching games there is a blast. The bar is overall a fun place to go, but there is nothing that makes it stand out. Its lack of anything that make it truly unique is its only problem.
A nice bar but lacking character
Ally T. Jan 4, 2013
Benchmark is nice bar with trendy decor and younger crowd than a lot of bars you will find in Old Town. The two floors accommodate a large amount of people, so if you have a big group it is a great place to go. The prices are a little above average. Although there is not a lot of negative things to say about Benchmark, there is nothing remarkable about it as far as bars go. The general crowd seemed a little stuffy and the bartenders were a bit unfriendly. To me, it was an average bar, and not one that I needed to attend more than once a month. A nice pair of jeans and button up for men and a cute blouse for women would up to par. If are going to a bar to meet a new friend or significant other, don't go the Benchmark. Benchmark is a lovely bar, but lacks a bit of character.
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