Having a wet bar is one of today’s hottest home decor trends, but the Chicago area has a long tradition of basement bars. It’s a great place to gather when entertaining guests, hosting a game, or relaxing after a long day. Vintage bars frozen in time are becoming more difficult to find because of house flipping, but surprisingly, there are some properties currently on the market with perfectly preserved bars. Where is the best place to look for these time capsule homes? Try exploring the outer edge of Chicago, the inner-ring suburbs, and Northwest Indiana.

4714 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, $699,900

Just over a week ago, a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Chicago’s Sauganash neighborhood hit the market for the very first time since it was constructed in 1960. The raised ranch is in good condition and already contingent. It feels like stepping back in time when you see the interior pictures. There’s even a pink bathroom! The lower-level entertaining space includes a recreation room, a full second kitchen, and, of course, a custom-designed wet bar that complements the stone fireplace. The best part? The home is located right next to the North Branch Trail.

7740 W. Giddings St., Norridge, $459,000

Chicago rejected Norridge’s bid for annexation in 1947. Ever since, questions arose about the continued existence of this suburb, now home to a number of newer McMansions and older brick ranches. This three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family residence was constructed by Fredrickson Builders in 1960. It has been owned by the same family for 55 years and is now being sold as-is with a one-year home warranty. Wood paneling is featured throughout the interior, from the familyroom/den to the spacious finished basement with an angled built-in bar.

10306 Gladstone St., Westchester, $350,000

The vintage front door, surrounded by small square windows, of this one-story brick ranch in Westchester caught my eye. I was hoping it would be another time capsule home. As I scrolled through the interior photos, I was delighted that my hunch proved true: The 1,404-square-foot residence features three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and plenty of retro vibes. In addition to the colorfully tiled bathrooms, there is a fully finished basement with original linoleum flooring and wood-paneled walls that match the dry bar.

7240 Belmont Ave., Hammond, IN, $239,900

Crossing the state border into Indiana to share another home that has only had one owner since its construction in 1959. The 3,471-square-foot residence has three bedrooms, with the possibility of converting a room into a fourth, and two bathrooms. The limestone gas fireplace in the living room, which harmonizes with the home’s exterior, can be converted back to wood-burning. The wood-paneled basement includes a bar with swinging saloon doors and colorful glass dividers. As of this writing, the property has just gone under contract. 

336 N. Walnut St., Elmhurst, $759,900

Last but not least, here is a 1920s bungalow with a second-story “pop top” addition in Elmhurst. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home features an open-concept layout  and the finished basement includes an oversized bar. Although it may not have a midcentury style like the other bars shared above, it is certainly not brand new. If judging by the Scottie Pippen bedroom mural, I would guess the bar was from the 1990s. The 2,450-square-foot residence is within walking distance of two local parks and located near North Avenue, Lake Street, and I-290/294.