The first thing you'll notice about The Benchmark , nestled in the rich neighborhood of Old Town, is the abundance of outdoor seating--the sidewalk out front hosts plenty of tables, and even a few couches. The building is incredibly modern. The white panel walls, large front windows, and glass covered rooftop resemble the esthetic of a Malibu beach restaurant, rather than one found in Chicago. The interior of the bar is sleek, cool, and some may even say borderline sexy. The nucleus of the large rectangular space is a monolithic bar sporting a gargantuan TV. The polished wood floors gleam under the suspended ceiling lights, and the tables are surrounded by nice leather backed chairs instead of stools. The ceiling opens up, letting anyone down below observe the scene above. The top level is divided into two parts-- one of them being a room with a retractable celing thats completely encased in glass.
Now let's talk about the specials, which are part of what makes this place the stand out it is. On Thursday nights you can get Grey Goose cocktails for $5, and for just $2 more you can make them “tall." Heinekens are $4, and Bacardi bombs are $6.
The food is definitely worth writing home about. Such notable options are the N.Y. Strip (8 oz for $15), or the $13 lamb burger. You'll also want to check out the pizzas and appetizers, which are very moderately priced.
Unless you have really deep pockets, you probably tend to avoid Old Town on the weekends, however, a trip to the area is most definitely something to look in to. Of course you should do your research first, and most certainly stop by The Benchmark. but if you got time, and maybe a date to impress the area is certainly worth checking out on certain days.