Steve Lombardo, Hugo Ralli and Larry Shane, the trio who brought us the renowned Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
and Hugo's Frog Bar
present yet another spot for nightlife and noshing in the area near Rush and State Streets.
In a set-up not unlike many of its neighbors, Luxbar incorporates a restaurant and bar setting in its bi-level space. A few flat screens here, a bit of marble detailing there, some mouth-watering food and delicious drinks, and voila!, another Gold Coast hot spot. The one element that (literally) sets this place above the rest is a second-floor balcony that overlooks Rush Street's bustling sidewalks and cab-filled streets. This bird's-eye view makes it the perfect place to perch and be seen.
But don't expect the same carte du jour from Gibsons or Hugo's. Luxbar has a menu all to itself, serving small plates like the smoked salmon, filet mignon and pulled pork sliders along with the usual sandwiches, salads and breakfast eggs. Heavier entrees include buttermilk-fried chicken, pork chops and, of course, steak, all priced $15 to $25. In a nod to its Gold Coast address, don't be surprised if you shell out $10.50 for your Grey Goose martini.
Aiming to attract a casual crowd, Luxbar is set spitting distance away from the "Viagra Triangle." So expect mid-life crisis victims dressed in slacks and unbuttoned collars and women with heavy-colored stick on the lip, enjoying the classic yet modern vibe.
Centerstage Reviewer: Janis Mabalay