Maybe the name should have been Big Stars. On Friday our photographer visited Chicago’s hottest It Bar, Big Star (1531 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-4039), the nouveau honky-tonk from an A list of powerhouses including Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia, and Terry Alexander (The Publican, Danny’s, The Violet Hour). By 6 p.m. the spot was standing room only, with would-be patrons lurking in wait for tacos, whiskey cocktails, and bar stools. You might remember this location as the former home of Wicker Park’s top people-watching patio, Pontiac. Then again, the buzz around Big Star might have you asking, "Pontiac who?"

Photography: Megan Dodge