Black Wednesday—a.k.a. Thanksgiving Eve, when all good nightlifers go on the prowl for one last hurrah before buckling down to a long weekend with the family—is upon us. But with the economy in a tailspin, will the so-called biggest party night of the year be more doom and gloom than gin and tonic? Not for those with plastic at the ready and a taste for cocktails. We rounded up the top crop of parties slated for November 26th.
Sammy’s back! Crimson Lounge hosts spin star Samantha Ronson—and, if history repeats itself, gal pal Lindsay Lohan. Ronson’s signature mashups of hip-hop and old-school rock have made her the DJ of choice for celebrity events, but her recurring gig at Crimson is the only place you can catch her in Chicago. Join the throngs of gawkers Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. There’s never a cover but always a line.
The folks at Stretch Run Sporting Club and Grille know that when we say we want turkey, we mean a shot of Wild Turkey ($4.50). Other ways to drink your Thanksgiving include the Pumpkin Pie Cocktail (vanilla ice cream, Bailey’s Caramel, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and butterscotch schnapps; $6.50) and the Cranberry Topping (cranberry juice, vodka, and triple sec; $6), both available through the end of November. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Wednesday and until 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Legendary Chicago turntablist Jesse De La Peña hosts Back Track at Rednofive, a 1980s musical flashback featuring a lineup of DJs popular both now and then (Mario Smokin’ Diaz, Pumpin Pete, Anacron, Luis Segura), plus a showdown of Prince versus Michael Jackson songs at midnight and break dancing by the Brick Heads Break Crew. Doors open at 9 p.m.; cover is $10 before 11 p.m., $15 from 11 p.m. to midnight, and $20 after. Come dressed in eighties gear for half-priced entry.
Over at Wicker Park standby Moonshine, DJ Soul Foundation’s Brenda D and Brian Gardner spin, and drink specials include $5 Jack Daniels cocktails and shots, and $3 Moonshine microbrews, including the pub’s new beer, Chronic, made with organic hemp seeds.
And one for the singles: The Lincoln Park Young Professionals’ bash at Whiskey Sky includes appetizers, Skyy Vodka cocktails, Naked Winery and Blue Heron wines, a Scotch tasting, a bloody Mary bar, Lindt chocolates, and more. The party runs from 7 to 9 p.m.; cover is $20 in advance on going.com or $30 at the door.
With two big parties in River North, Rockit Ranch Productions has Black Wednesday covered. At Rockit Bar (open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.), specials include select $3 bottles of beer and $7 Effen and Effen Raspberry cocktails; plus, all drinks on the new fall cocktail menu are $10 a pop. At The Underground (open 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.), it’s co-owner Arturo Gomez’s birthday soiree, with DJ Ruckus spinning all night. This year’s theme is Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure; read about last year’s party here—and, yes, they’ll be handing out black-rimmed glasses once again.