Nightspotting

6 years
ago

 

Black Wednesday Bashes

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.

6 years
ago

 

Weekend Photos: Tumans

Picture this: It’s Friday night and your buddies have bailed. What to do when the weekend is upon you and you’ve got no plans? Our nightlife guru Sarah Preston recommends Tumans (2159 W. Chicago Ave.) in Ukrainian Village. Despite a facelift a few years back, this one-time grimiest of dives still offers dirt-cheap beer and a true Chicago icon, DJ Jesse De La Peña, on the turntables a couple of times each month. We visited the cozy corner tavern last Friday; check out photos…

6 years
ago

 

Once and Future Dives

The Best of Today . . .
From a hole in Vegas to a microscopic bar in our very own backyard, Playboy.com has compiled a list of the top ten American dives. As Steve Dollar writes in the article, “Nothing satisfies man’s tortured soul and restless craving for misadventure quite like the dive bar.” We couldn’t agree more.

6 years
ago

 

Weekend Photos: The Zoo & Red Ivy

If you thought Twisted Spoke was wild, get a load of The Zoo (3369 N. Clark St.). Wrigleyville’s one-time biker bar (and, later, Brody’s on Clark) has been reborn as a nightspot that plays to the party animals. We spotted folks congregating at the watering hole on Saturday night. And you know what they say—“When in Wrigleyville”—so we ambled down the block to check out Red Ivy.

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6 years
ago

 

Who Am I to Judge?

One of the perks of being a nightlife columnist is occasionally getting asked to help judge bartending competitions. This past Monday I sat on a panel for the Woodford Reserve Ultimate Manhattan Competition, hosted by Chicago Sport and Social Club at Angels & Kings. Along with four other judges—including Mike Miller of Delilah’s and Bottom Lounge, and last year’s winner, Paul Stern of Suite Lounge—I sampled eight different Manhattans made by eight local drink slingers and judged the results based on presentation, creativity, and taste…

6 years
ago

 

That’s the Ticket: Election-Night Parties and Specials

Move over, Black Wednesday. By our estimation, Tuesday, November 4th is shaping up to be the biggest party night of the year. Even if you didn’t score a ticket to the official Obama rally in Grant Park, there are plenty of places to party with the politicos, no matter whom you vote for. Whether you end up celebrating a win or licking your wounds, you’ll want company. Get it, along with a multitude of drink specials, at these local bars—and keep reading for a quick Halloween heads-up. . .

6 years
ago

 

Pity Parties: Drink Deals for Every Day of the Week

The economy’s in the toilet. Your mutual funds are tanking. And you can’t sell your condo because the real-estate market has crashed. But just because we’re in a tailspin doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Bars all over town are offering bailout plans of the drink-deal kind. Our day-by-day guide…

6 years
ago

 

Weekend Photos: Dirty Martini & Crescendo

This week, two newbies in River North: Dirty Martini, the happy hour hot spot with martinis on tap (yes, you read that right), and Crescendo, which opened on a high note earlier this summer before closing soon after, now under new management…

6 years
ago

 

Who’s Inn, Who’s Out, What’s Next

The Suite Life
Last Friday was the media and VIP party for Vertigo Sky Lounge (see photos), the new bar on the 26th floor of the Dana Hotel and Spa. As I reported in July, Vertigo, which boasts a rooftop deck, was supposed to open over the summer, but when shorts-and-sandals season passed with no opening date, anticipation waned a bit. Thankfully the weather complied last weekend, and the deck was packed with revelers—or, rather, smokers. Yes, smoking is…

6 years
ago

 

Drinks, Please! Back on the Nightlife Beat

Last Girl Standing no more.

In what turned out to be a truly memorable evening, I finally tied the knot a couple of weeks ago at the Drake Hotel. Since my marital status has changed, it seemed like the title of my blog should, too; hence “Nightspotting 2.0,” a nod to my longtime print column in Chicago magazine. And now that my mini-moon to the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach is over, I’m back pounding the pavement to bring you the latest from the nightlife front every Thursday—and check in Mondays for weekend photos from the scene. But first, for those who sweated out the prewedding jitters with me via the blog, a few highlights from the big event…