Gone is the gravel and tar at once-forgotten 12th floor rooftop of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago luxury hotel.

In its space today is the Windy City’s newest rooftop lounge, Tom Segesta, the hotel’s general manager, told me yesterday during our catch-up chat. “It’s off the side of our regular bar,” he said. “It’s a great space.”

The official name is “THE dec Rooftop Lounge Bar,” which I imagine will eventually be referred to as “the deck” in conversations.
Visitors will be able to look up at the top of the soaring John Hancock building. Remember, this hotel is actually part of the Four Seasons chain, as opposed to Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton chain.

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The lounge will serve hip treats and even hipper cocktails and micro-brews, Segesta said.

On the menu: olives ($5), a charcuterie board ($18), flatbreads ($18-$20), crab and corn lollipops ($14), bratwurst sliders ($19), a mini-trashcan of chocolate-covered bon bons served with a flourish of dramatic dry ice smoke ($12) and seasonal cocktails (mostly $14).

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Other notable hotel rooftop spaces that I’ve visited in Chicago a couple of years ago include the 7th floor deck at the Park Hyatt hotel on Water Tower Square and the rooftop lounge at the eclectic Wit hotel, which belongs to Hilton Worldwide’s Doubletree chain.

The Wit’s rooftop has a nifty retractable roof so people can still gather even when it rains or when it gets too…well, I have to say it…windy.

Readers: What is your favorite rooftop bar at a hotel anywhere in the world?

Photos courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago.