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A Sneak Peek at the Renaissance Hotel’s New Riverfront Rooftop Terrace

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The 210-person indoor/outdoor space will offically open next month

Downtown’s Renaissance Hotel is finally taking the wraps off its new rooftop bar designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and the Gettys Group. The addition is the second phase of a renovation plan that saw the hotel’s lobby and first floor restaurant space completely revamped last spring. The new indoor/outdoor amenity is officially titled "Raised: An Urban Rooftop Bar," which does a fair job conveying what patrons can expect when the they visit.

The entrance to Raised makes a bold statement with its reclaimed wood ceiling and use of old recycled doors. Inside, things take a turn for the eclectic as industrial, rustic, mid-century modern, and shabby chic styles all come together in just the right way. One particularly nice touch is the damask stenciling across the space’s polished floor. Our visit coincided with a group training session for Raised next batch of mixologists so a closer look at the bar sadly wasn’t possible.

Things get even more impressive outside thanks to dramatic views of the Chicago River. Contrary to conventional thinking that might assume that a higher rooftop is always better, the third floor vantage point at Raised puts you right among some of Chicago’s most iconic architecture. Instead of being detached from the city below, the experience is much more immersive.

The mix-and-match decorating from inside is repeated outdoors. The variety of furniture provides different options for guests to congregate be it around fire pits, high tops, a long communal table, or greenhouse style cabanas. Movable heaters dot the space and will do their best to extend the al fresco cocktail season during Chicago’s cooler months.

Adjacent to the outdoor terrace is a new event space dubbed Urban Blue. While this space is primarily for hotel use, it can be connected to Raised for special events. Raised will officially open to the public on Friday, May 13th and should draw quite a happy hour crowd.