Ahead of the Pack

The West Loop's new Lone Wolf fills a neighborhood void

In search of dinner on Randolph Row? Throw a rock in any direction and you'll hit at least three quality spots.

Yet when seeking a happy-hour beer or late-night cocktail, the options are surprisingly slim.

Enter Lone Wolf, the new bar from Stephen Cole (Barrelhouse Flat, The Violet Hour) that aims to fill the neighborhood tavern void.

Decked out with mahogany leather booths, whitewashed brick and low lighting, Lone Wolf has that distinctly of-the-moment cool-but-cozy vibe. Belly up to the Brunswick-style bar, check the chalkboard for regional drafts (Three Floyds is standard) and order a pint ($6 and up). Or, opt for one of the three Sgroppinos ($12), boozy spritzers (vodka, gin or tequila) blended with a dab of sorbet and topped with prosecco. 

A no-fuss dinner can be cobbled together here, too. Befitting its low-key tavern vibe, Lone Wolf eschewed a fancy chef to tap Pleasant House Bakery for its savory Royal Pies ($6), perfect for a quick bite at the bar. Royal Brunswick Chili ($5), a thoughtful vegetarian option made with butternut squash and white beans, plus a handful of snacks–a Scotch egg ($4), Welsh rarebit ($4)–complete the simple menu.

Cap off the night with an Amaro-based cocktail, like the Seven Sisters ($12). On paper, its Fernet Branca and yellow Chartreuse combo seems mismatched, but one sip and it's clear: This is what the 'hood's been missing.