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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Category - Nightlife

When you're having too much fun on a night out, the last thing you want to do is head home. Fortunately, there are a number of bars in Chicago that have been granted late-night liquor licenses so that they can serve alcohol ‘til well after the DJ’s last call.

The following late-night bars are open til 4am on weekdays, and 5am during the weekends.

Like much of pre-19th Century Chicago, Ravenswood (once part of Lakeview Township) was inhabited by various Native American tribes. Modern day Clark street was once an important trail, named Green Bay Trail, that led to Green Bay, Wisconsin.  By the mid-1800s, Chicago was growing and the population was booming. Real estate planners sought ways to make a buck while offering residents an escape fro the hustle and bustle of the city.  Many of our city’s neighborhoods developed in this fashion, and Ravenswood—which was to become the home to Chicago brewery Band of Bohemia—was a first of its kind. 

Shore Club: Chicago's New Beachfront Restaurant

Thursday, August 17, 2017 9:00 AM by Maddy Osman

Chicagoans have yet another thing to look forward to this summer, with the opening of Shore Club, an upscale development concept that brings the best of dining and hospitality to Old Town and Lincoln Park. The new multimillion-dollar beach-front bar, restaurant and resort is located at a prime Lakeshore Drive address (1603 N. Lakeshore Drive), and features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer the perfect sweeping views of Lake Michigan.

In recent years, the West Loop has been one of the hottest tickets in town. Restaurateurs and real estate developers have transformed the area into a vibrant space where local and tourist foodies alike descend for a delectable bite. But the area has always had a rich culinary history. And while this particular community is new, the concept of community in the neighborhood is one that is strongly rooted in the past.

Drinking in the Vice

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 5:00 PM by Liz Garibay

In the late 1800s, all of Chicago was booming. The city was re-building and growing in ways that were unthinkable. No matter the industry, opportunity was available for any and all. And as much as the good was thriving, the bad did too. 

Vice districts flourished in all major urban centers, and Chicago had her fair share. The most infamous of them all, The Levee, was located in modern day South Loop. It was here that Chicago would come to gamble, drink, and visit an assortment of brothels. Aldermen Hinky Dink Kenna and Bathhouse John Coughlin ran the successful First Ward and advocated for its existence. Thanks to Karen Abbott’s insightful book, Sin In The Second City, you can read all about the unique cast of characters that once were. And if you want to throw back a few where some of this history sultry history happened, head on over to Vice District Brewing (1454 S Michigan Ave). 

As Chicagoans, we are often inspired by our city. The people and places of both the past and present seem to influence much of what we do. From fires to fairs, our history is varied, and complicated. And perhaps one tale from our rich past is the one that has affected us the most. The Great Chicago Fire was such a pivotal moment for us that we honor it with a star on our beloved flag. It was a time of tragedy, yet it was a time for a rebirth. When I first encountered Burnt City Brewing in Lincoln Park, I was singed with curiosity. And then I got it. And I appreciated it. Not just because of a fire, but because beer. And history.

A Kiki is urban slang for a party with good music and friends meant to calm the nerves, allowing people to spill the tea and dish the dirt for the purpose of reducing anxiety and stress. Given the political climate, the LGBTQ community and their allies seem in desperate need of a kiki.

Early in 2017, the Laugh Factory Chicago (3175 North Broadway) launched the new LGBTQ monthly show, the Kiki — Queer Comedy with Variety. Since then, the Kiki has provided a solid roster featuring Chicago’s top queer talent.

Beer lovers, rejoice! It’s a great time to be alive!  This could have been a headline in 1890s Chicago when our town was one of the biggest producers of beer during the late 19th Century.  And lucky for us, history repeats itself.  Today we are in the midst of the greatest beer producing period in American history.  Walk in any direction and you’ll undoubtedly find a brewery within half a mile.  As a historian, it’s fun to think about how the past influences our present.  And as a beer historian, it’s pretty special to reflect on recent beer history.

In thinking about the modern era of Chicago beer, there are certain breweries that were true pioneers.  Piece Pizzeria & Brewery (1927 W. North Avenue) opened in Wicker Park in 2001, at a time when the city of Chicago had only one other brewery (waves at Goose Island).  A brewery in Wicker Park may have seemed novel 16 years ago, but 116 years ago, not so much.

River North might just be the nightlife capital of Chicago. However, this neighborhood has much more to offer than just bars. You could easily spend an entire day here dining, shopping and enjoying the city. Keep reading for your guide to a day in River North that won’t break the bank.  

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