Rhyme or Reason (1938 W Division St., Wicker Park) is the easygoing cousin of the nightclub. The latest addition to the Division drinking scene boasts good food, a cool-yet-casual crowd, and a colorful selection of 1970s-inspired drinks. That swingin’ seventies theme extends beyond the bar: Every Friday and Saturday night, live acts bring jazz, soul, and funk to Rhyme or Reason’s intimate bandstand, with like-minded DJs filling in on occasion. Expect vintage sounds and a boogie-friendly vibe. On our visit, there was life on the dance floor—but not the sweaty, claustrophobic crush you might expect on hearing the word “club”. It’s loud, of course, but you can hold a conversation at your high top without going hoarse.
Owner Le'Qoinne Rice says that come spring, Rhyme or Reason will expand with a massive sidewalk patio. Until then, the welcoming interior (see those plush couches?) will remain a fun, funky place to drink a gin fizz and cut some rug.
Here's what we saw when we stopped by.