It's everything you'd want in a wine bar: jazz bouncing off the cushioned leather walls and stools, thin neon red lightbulbs illuminating the shiny coffered ceiling, a candle at every rounded table, and a circular marble bar that protects both the bartender and the booze.
A warm, intimate space fashioned after the Matchbox Bar, Fion is strategically located on the ground-level of the Belair Hotel on a tree-lined street in Lincoln Park. Adding an extra touch of class to the overall concept is the space's name, which actually means "wine" or "handsome" in Gaelic. Owners Tom and Phil Piazza of Bar1 management, also own Maeve, which in Gaelic means "she who intoxicates," the nearby college sports bar, Duffy's, and four others. That said, keep in mind that Fion Wine & Spirits caters to the gentleman or lady interested in getting away from the plethora of college-type sports bars. But despite its good intentions, Fion still airs mostly sports on the overhanging flat-screen televisions. Perhaps the owners harken back to the space's roots: This was originally a divey-type bar that they gutted and renovated.
Fion offers a wide range of tequilas, a hefty selection of martinis, craft and import beers and a robusque, nitrogen-encased wine bar. The average mixed drink runs about $8, but shell out more if you're trying to impress a date. If you want class but don't have the cash, stop by on Fridays for free wine tasting.
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler