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Best Bars to Dance Without Going to the Club

The crowd at Slippery Slope  

Slippery Slope

Don’t let the lengthy line outside dissuade you from visiting Scofflaw’s (see “Best Bars to Go on a Third Date”) cool kid sister. If you do, you’ll miss out on one of the city’s most inviting nightly parties, a hip homage to the now-defunct dancehall Bonny’s. The house beer comes with a handful of blueberries, the clientele is young and fun, and the mix meanders from Drake to the Smiths to Britney without missing a beat. Logan Square, 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave., slipperyslopechicago.com

Beauty Bar

You can get a martini and a manicure here for $15, but why risk smudging a nail when you can dance to indie rock? You’ll encounter a different crowd every night of the week. Noble Square, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., thebeautybar.com

Danny’s Tavern

If you’re jonesing to shake it uninhibitedly to reggae, soul, and hip-hop, seek out this unassuming gem, where plaid-clad dudes (finally) let loose on the moodily lit dance floor, which is also tops for people-watching. Bucktown, 1951 W. Dickens Ave.

East Room

For a break from Slippery Slope’s crowds, head across the street. A live-music license, wildly disparate dance nights (Motown to disco), and a monthly queer party warrant repeat visits. Logan Square, 2828 W. Medill Ave., eastroomchicago.com

The Promontory

Its airy concert hall is ideal for dancing, and nightly themes range from salsa to retro hip-hop. If you’re worried about U. of C. kids turning things raucous, don’t be: Patrons skew 30-plus. Hyde Park, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W., promontorychicago.com

Smart Bar

This long-standing subterranean music venue still packs the house for sets from top electronic and house music DJs. For those who just need to dance, there are syrupy pop tunes every Wednesday night. Lake View, 3730 N. Clark St., smartbarchicago.com

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