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On Southport, Sopo's Got Specials

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Feb 22, 2006 8:50PM

It’s no secret that Tuesdays are the worst day of the week, and last Tuesday, Chicagoist decided to take solace in the arms of a familiar lover: alcohol.

We found ourselves wandering down Southport in search of a welcoming spot, and Sopo Lounge and Grill (at 3418 N Southport) answered the call. We were drawn in by the black awning bearing the slogan “Eat Well. Drink Better.” Yes, these were two missions we could support. Seeing as we’d already chowed down, we focused our fulfilling the latter. sopo1.jpg

The front room of the dimly lit lounge is scattered with dark wood tables. Large paintings hang on the exposed-brick walls, with chandeliers suspended overhead. A few exposed ducts round out the rough-but-sophisticated look. In the back room, more seating can be found on the plush couches and intimate tables. The bar also has a few flat-panel TVs, which seems to be par for the course in trendy lounges.

For 11 o’clock on Tuesday night, the bar was lightly crowded. We were able to get a table near the front wall of windows. Although people watching at this time of night was scarce, we had a nice view of the Red Tomato. In summertime, the windowed doors open to the patio, which is great for warm evenings of dining alfresco.

But enough daydreaming of warmer months – our mission was to check out the drinks, and Sopo has a solid list. All martinis are $6, and choices range from classic to dirty to specialty: chocolate, macadamia, apple, cocotini and the Blue Sopo. White sangria is available by the glass or pitcher, and all draught and bottled beers are $4. We sipped on a Mojito martini, while listening to Heart playing on the jukebox. Our waitress was attentive and offered to bring another round as soon as we drained our glass. Although Sopo is open until 2 a.m., staff not so subtly gave us our cue to leave by putting the chairs up around 1 a.m.

Monday through Friday, take advantage of specials, such as $2 burgers, half-priced appetizers and $3 cosmos. Saturday and Sunday brunch features $2 breakfast burritos and $3 Bloody Marys.

We can’t decide if we like the nod to New York (Sopo is short for Southport), but we’ll gladly overlook the SoHo allusion to get our drinks on the cheap.