“It’s called The Ace Bar, like the bandage, because the place was broken, and I came in and fixed it,” says Brad Cousens, the owner of a new bar-slash-live-music-venue in the Lincoln Park address formerly home to Hoghead McDunna’s (1505 W. Fullerton Ave.; 312-970-1505). Cousens, who has had his hands in dozens of places (Duke’s, the now-shuttered Gramercy) since moving to Chicago from Detroit in 2000, books local bands most nights of the week but has plans for top-secret shows from bigger names later this year: “Back when I was in Detroit, I put on shows in clubs that ranged from 200-person rooms to 6,000-person rooms, and I still have relationships with a lot of people I knew before they hit it big.” In the meantime, patrons can stop in for hometown talent (on Saturday night, our photographer caught Lakeshore Vibe, Dr. Ed & Friends, and J.J. & Dre); Sunday’s Funk ’n’ Waffles brunch, launching mid-May; and a beefed-up beer list, featuring 70 varieties from Schlitz to Stone’s Arrogant Bastard.


Photography: Jeff Schear