JoJo's Milk Bar Brings Instagrammable Dining to River North

Your Instagram and your stomach are going to thank you.

April 13, 2019

Ever want to go back in time and share a milkshake with your significant other or a friend in a same-sider booth? Well, now’s your chance to do that at the latest addition to River North.

On Feb. 28, JoJo’s Milk Bar opened in Chicago’s River North neighborhood offering loaded milkshakes, Instagram-friendly desserts, boozy cocktails, diner eats and more.

“We’re introducing JoJo’s as a light-hearted spot meant to spark memories of childhood while bringing the concept full circle with elevated, but familiar, diner and dessert creations,” said managing partner, Robbie Schloss.

Jojo's Milk Bar Menu

This milk bar, though, does not stop at milkshakes and diner food. It also has a full, cocktail bar.

“A milk bar as a category has been looked at in several different ways across the world. In Europe, you will see them as more of a social atmosphere and an area where families can come and get approachable diner fare. In Australia and other places, they are much more hip, and cool, and fun, and they are really geared towards a more youthful audience.

Related: 10 Delicious & Insta-Worthy Dessert Spots in Chicago

“I felt that Chicago deserved a place that wasn’t a nightclub, wasn’t a sports bar, and offered an alternative nightlife environment where people can go have fun, have a great first date, go out with a friend and enjoy some of the dessert novelties that we have and great diner fare, but do it in a fun atmosphere that extends until 3 a.m. on a Saturday. Everything from boozy shakes to 40 different whiskeys, a couple different beers on draft, that kind of thing.”

Jojo's Milk Bar

But let’s get back to those milkshakes for a second.

“I don’t think anyone has left without trying a milkshake,” Schloss said.

JoJo’s Milk Bar does not serve up just any milkshakes. Their milkshakes are over-the-top and whimsical featuring flavors like the “Girl Scout” topped with a homemade Thin Mint cookie and the “Cherry Poppins” topped with a chocolate-covered pop rocks stick and a cherry-chocolate cookie.

Plus if you are just looking to amp up your shake, JoJo’s allows guests (21+ of course) to add booze to any milkshake, with liquor suggestions on the menu.

Jojo's Milk Bar / Milk & Cookies

And as we mentioned, JoJo’s does not stop at milkshakes for their dessert treats. They also have a milk and cookie flight that comes with four different flavored milks and four different cookies and homemade, specialty pop tarts.

The latest dessert menu addition? Milk bars!

JoJo’s Milk Bar launched its milk bars at the beginning of April. They come in four flavors: cherry chocolate, blueberry lavender, snickerdoodle, and chai-town. The milk bars are created from the diner’s infused milks and decorated with different toppings. A perfect treat to eat and Instagram!

Jojo's Milk Bar / Ice Cream Bars

And if you are looking for more of a meal to go along with your shake, JoJo’s has a diner menu, created by culinary veteran and JoJo’s Executive Chef and Partner, Christine McCabe. It features classic dishes for lunch or dinner. Be sure to try the smash burger or the honey fried-chicken sandwich, and don’t forget JoJo’s fries topped with a three-cheese blend, bacon, chives, and sour cream.

Added bonus? Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, JoJo’s has something from you. The milk bar offers a convenient walk-up window for coffee, infused milk, and quick bites. As well as, a full cocktail bar featuring a list of specialty cocktails and shots.

Jojo's Milk Bar / Food Options

And getting back to the “fun atmosphere that extends until 3 a.m. on a Saturday.” JoJo’s Milk Bar has a full bar on both levels with a selection of scotch, whiskey, and bourbon, as well as a special cocktail menu with drinks like the Young Grasshoper, Notorious, The Queen, and Clockwork.

There is also a special shot menu featuring dessert shots like Birthday Cake, Carrot Cake, Neapolitan, PB+J, and many more. And if it’s your birthday or you are celebrating something special, you can take your chances at the JoJo’s Milk Bar shot wheel and be surprised with either one of the specialty shots or a shot of Malort. (Fingers crossed you get something fun!)

Jojo's Milk Bar / Art

Speaking of fun, JoJo’s is not just a place to get fun drinks and food. It also has a second-floor playroom complete with a traditional Chicago coin bowler, a life-sized Lite Brite, two 80’s tables complete with games like Pac-Man and other Atari classics, and other board and card games to keep you entertained.

JoJo’s Milk Bar also features tons of décor and artwork throughout the space, with attention to even the smallest of details. The first floor features a milkshake window, a chalkboard menu, a milk-bottle filled bar, same-sider booths, milk bottle light fixtures, a black-and-white ‘Got Milk?’ wall, and artwork displaying Bill Murray, Queen Elizabeth, and Notorious B.I.G. sporting milk mustaches. If you take the stairs to the second floor, retro-inspired graffiti art created by Afrokilla will guide you to the Playroom; but if you opt for the elevator, be sure to look up…(all I will say is “moo!”) Once on the second floor, otherwise known as the Playroom, guests will a steam-punk bar, a colored ‘Got Milk?’ hallway, and more graffiti art.

Jojo's Milk Bar / Lite-Brite Art

From the décor and games to the whimsical milkshakes and other dessert treats, JoJo’s Milk Bar is sure to bring back nostalgia, all while still remaining “cool.”

“The notion of the ‘Next-Generation Milk Bar’ speaks to the casual, but cool vibe that lives on in JoJo’s, while creating an entirely new experience as we draw on inspiration from milk bars around the world,” Schloss said.

JoJo’s Milk Bar, located at 23 W. Hubbard St., is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight. The bar is 21+ after 9 p.m.

Jojo's Milk Bar / Good Vibes Art

They do not take reservations. It is a first-come, first-serve restaurant and bar.

Be sure to keep up to date with JoJo’s Milk Bar on the website, Facebook or Instagram @jojosmilkbar.

And live out their motto: “Shakes, Fries, and Damn Good Vibes.”