Tiny Lounge: Friendly Bar With A Lengthy Beer ListAddress: 4352 N. Leavitt Street
Tiny Lounge, 4352 N. Leavitt, offers a rare combination of tasty food and creative cocktails in a sophisticated setting. The trick is, you have to be able to find the place. Since there’s no signage, some people mistake the Tiny Lounge for an extension of Bowmans. But the personalities of the two taverns couldn’t be more different.
I never had the pleasure of visiting the original Tiny Lounge under the Addison Brown Line station (before the construction project), but I noticed, happily, when Tiny 2.0 opened in its new space where Leavitt hits Montrose. Calm, cool, and collected (until the crowd fills in), the lengthy bar beckons with some of the most comfortable stools I’ve parked on, while booths and cozy tables for two line the other side of the space.
Fans of bamboo will appreciate the decor, and liquor enthusiasts will embrace the expertly prepared cocktails ($8 – $10) and international “Who’s Who” bottled beer list ($4 – $12). Ten beers are on tap (including local brews and my personal favorite, Victoria Lager from Mexico), and a short but rotating list of wine is available ($7 – $12 per glass).
You should be prepared for conversations to crescendo every time cocktails shakers are employed, which is often, because the specialty drinks at Tiny Lounge are intriguing and potent.
After much deliberation, I finally settled on the Stalker—a surprisingly refreshing combination of Hayman’s Old Town Gin and fresh celery juice. I’m looking forward to a future date with Wyatt Earp (rye whiskey, fresh pear juice, and ginger-infused simple syrup).
Tiny Lounge has a tiny kitchen, so the menu is limited to a few pizzettas, sandwiches, salads, and other beer-friendly finger foods like fries and empanadas. But portions are large for some items, including the massive bowl of truffle cheese fries (which warrant a slot on a future spud crawl). Super thin pizzettas come with toppings such as minced lamb with yogurt and goat cheese, roasted shiitake mushrooms, and a classic margherita combination.
There are plenty of servers on hand, and they’re reliable and friendly (so much so that you may mistake them for clientele—not a bad thing). On a busy night you won’t get much chitchat, but they are ready to make beverage recommendations to pair with food. Tiny Lounge opens at 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and noon on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and the kitchen stays open until 1 a.m.