If you grew up in the neighborhood, you will literally find someone who knows your name — the regulars at this Calumet Heights bar are more than likely people you know from your grade school, high school, or college fraternity or sorority. But nobody is a stranger and everyone is welcome. The Family Den is a longtime hangout for a Gen X crowd that loves house music, day parties, epic Bears game day celebrations, and dancing (the floor is enormous and, unless the Bears are on, packed). Many of the now-famous Chosen Few DJs cut their chops at Family Den and still pop up to spin house to a full house. Chosen Few DJ Andre Hatchett made a recent appearance on House Music Mondays, and DJ Malik Shabazz, official DJ for the WNBA world champion Chicago Sky, is the house DJ during Bears season. The drinks are strong and delicious, accompanied by excellent bar food at a great price (the three-for-$6 fried wings and hand-cut fries are not to be missed). Bears Sunday is an all-out extravaganza, with Shabazz spinning between plays and after the game. It’s a relaxed spot for the professional crew that still loves to party on weekends — but during the day, because everybody has to get up for work on Monday.
Address: 8942 S. Stony Island Ave.
Year opened: 1985
Drink of choice: Hennessy or Rémy
Clientele: Gen Xers and younger boomers
Song you might hear: “Move Your Body” by Marshall Jefferson