Ten years after debuting in downtown Chicago, the rooftop bar at the Wit hotel has undergone a major facelift. Shortly after its opening in 2009, the Roof at the Wit became one of the city’s buzziest venues as locals and tourists lined up outside on the sidewalks while waiting for an elevator to whisk them upstairs to the 27th floor at 201 N. State Street. But back then, Chicago rooftop bars were a rarity, and the Wit, with its fire pits that divided the space, was a hot ticket.
Chicago hotel companies quickly saw the Wit’s popularity and began opening their own rooftop bars. As rooftop bar competition increased it became clear that the Wit needed to freshen up. Management removed the fire pits and created a new open-air space. The Roof operates more like a club at night with DJs performing and lights glaring all through the space. Designer Jackie Koo of Koo Architecture wanted to give the bar more Mediterranean vibe. The new floor tiles show off that vision.
Management also added a 160-degree overhang on the 40-foot-long bar. Former Radler chef Nathan Spears has also refreshed his menu with 15 new dishes. Piers Smyth, the Wit’s drink director, has created a beverage list with drinks like “(Itali)Kiss from a Rosé” (Seal fans and Batman Forever fans know) and “My Name is _____” (for the Eminem fans).