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The It List: This Week’s Nightlife Buzz

Like the Web itself, Last Girl Standing has evolved. I used to mix nightlife news with stories from the singles scene; now I pair nightlife coverage with reports from the road to the altar—and you can always read my monthly column, Nightspotting, in Chicago magazine. But since there’s some confusion as to the LGS schedule, here’s the scoop: On Mondays, I’ll be writing about my engagement; on Thursdays, tune in for dispatches from the nightlife front. I’m off for my wedding in September, but the party’s not over: In October, it’ll be all nightlife all the time. And if you’re looking for more info…

Like the Web itself, Last Girl Standing has evolved. I used to mix nightlife news with stories from the singles scene; now I pair nightlife coverage with reports from the road to the altar—and you can always read my monthly column, Nightspotting, in Chicago magazine. But since there’s some confusion as to the LGS schedule, here’s the scoop: On Mondays, I’ll be writing about my engagement; on Thursdays, tune in for dispatches from the nightlife front. I’m off for my wedding in September, but the party’s not over: In October, it’ll be all nightlife all the time. And if you’re looking for more info on what to do around the city, check out Chicago’s weekly newsletter Marquee. In the meantime, check out the first installment of The It List.

1. If you like Lottie’s Pub, you’ll love The Pony. Mark Domitrovich, the owner of one of Wicker Park/Bucktown’s favorite corner taverns, quietly opened his new bilevel Lake View hang in the old Gunther Murphy’s space last weekend. The hickory-lined pub seats 80 downstairs, 100 upstairs, and each table sports its own flat-screen TV.

2. Happy anniversary, Avenue M. To celebrate two years in business, the spot hosts a fete this Friday night, with complimentary cocktails (think mojitos and margaritas), passed apps, and live music from the Kyle Asche Jazz Trio. The bash starts at 6 p.m.; RSVP to 312-243-1133. This party is open to the public, people. That’s you!

3. Here comes Hollywood. Wondering what Audrina Patridge has been up to lately—besides filming the next season of The Hills? Just ask her; she’ll be at Enclave Saturday night hosting a Lalaland-themed bash. Doors open at 10 p.m. and cover is $20, or, for reduced coverage before 11 p.m., RSVP via the Web site. One lucky guest will win a trip to L.A., including two nights at The Roosevelt and a weekend of revelry at Hollywood hot spots. It’s almost worth showing up.

4. But wait, there’s more! Entourage’s—and Evanston’s—Jeremy Piven hosts his annual Piven Theatre Workshop benefit at Rockit Bar & Grill this Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. ($150; call 847-866-8049), followed by an afterparty at, yes, The Underground (the $20 afterparty cover from 9 p.m. to midnight goes straight to the theatre). Silent-auction items include a walk-on role in Piven’s Emmy-winning HBO show. You, too, can be a star!

5. Wondering where the 20- and 30-something crowd will be this weekend? Get thee to Hub 51, the new spot from brothers R. J. and Jerrod Melman (scions of Lettuce Entertain You’s Rich). The spot, slated to open this Friday, houses a downstairs lounge, Sub 51; consider it the ultimate afterdinner party. And think of this as your ultimate afterdinner drink: Hub Punch, a mix of vodka, tequila, and Licor 43 ($8).

6. ZED 451 wants you to start day-drinking. The rooftop lounge—which has become scene central since the spot launched in April—opens at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, dispensing summer sippers such as the bourbon lemonade (citrus-infused Woodford Reserve Small Batch Bourbon and fresh-squeezed lemonade, with a ginger kick; $12) and the orchard sangria (fresh peaches, plums, oranges, and lemons in a bath of chardonnay and brandy; $10 per glass or $28 per pitcher).

7. Perennial, the American bistro that took over the Louie on the Park space, is now open, thanks to nightlife maestros-turned–restaurateurs Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz (BOKA, Landmark). In the coming weeks, watch for The Strand to open, a more nightlife-centric lounge within the restaurant, boasting a walnut bar and photography by Paul Strand.

8. Now you see it: C-View, the companion rooftop lounge to Marcus Samuelssohn’s new eatery C-House in the Affinia Hotel, opens in early July. Read more about the new rooftop hotel-lounge trend sweeping the city in the July issue of Chicago, page 50 (to be posted on the site soon). And check back next Thursday for a full report on C-View’s private opening on Tuesday. That party is invite-only, but I’ll keep you posted on the to-be-announced public opening.

9. Congratulations to Marc Bortz. Sure, on his baby (although that’s old news), but also on his bar Hogs and Honeys, which celebrates its sixth anniversary Saturday night. That’s right: The honeys have been shaking it atop the bar that long—although the spot itself has moved down the street, to the old JP Bistro space, and the girls are shaking it even longer, since the new location is open until 4 a.m.

10. If Saturday night doesn’t do you in, head to Stanley’s on Racine Sunday for Bikes, Babes, and BBQ. For those with bikes, there’s off-street parking. For everyone else, there’s $4.95 all-you-can-eat barbecue, plus Kilo Kai rum drink specials.

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