“At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives

Homeward, and brings the sailor home from the sea,

The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights

Her stove, and lays out food in tins.” T S Eliot, The Wasteland

The American T S Eliot poignantly captures an English sadness that can only be dealt with by a long visit to the pub.  The typist was living at a time when nice women didn’t go to pubs and probably had a some sherry at home instead.  Luckily for us, there are now many drinking establishments much more sophisticated than pubs.  The Violet Hour in Bucktown in Chicago is one of them.  It seems not be named after the Eliot poem which is a little too depressing for upbeat America, even the pre-depression America we appear to be living in.  It is unmarked and you enter through a velvet curtain that hides the bustling bar where we can drink at the violet hour (or earlier!). I had a Juliet and Romeo – Gin, Mint and rose water – and was very happy with it.  And the tempura green beans were great with it.  Some of the drinks were very slow in coming so they gave them to us for free. The Violet Hour has a happy buzz.  Despite the speakeasy motif, it has a comfortable lack of pretension that I associate with the Midwest.  Good company with a good drink.  I was very happy that night, quite unlike the main protagonists in the Wasteland.