We've all been there. You've been out drinking 'til late in the night, the bartender yells for last call, the manager flips on the house lights, and Semisonic's "Closing Time" plays through the speakers, but you haven't gotten the most out of your night...yet. So what do you do? Call it a night? Grab a late night snack? Sleep? Psh, that's what Sunday afternoons are for.
Having been in this position probably
one 50 too many times, I
want to provide you with a guide to some of the quintessential 4 am bars in
Chicago. So, after rounding up all my memories and trying to fill in
the blanks the best I could, I now present to you: Four Great 4AM Bars.
As you walk down Halsted, there's no missing the red and white carnival style canopy that proudly displays, "The Store." I've landed in this very spot more times than I care to mention. The oddly named bar features... a bar. There is nothing super fancy about this spot, but that's what gives the bar its character. If you were to pass The Store at midnight, you would see a crowd that could ride home in a Mini Cooper together, but come 2:30 am, it's packed.
What a perfectly named bar. Yak-zies is another great experience. After you see the logo of a sun rising behind the head of a man with bloodshot eyes and an ice-bag on his head, you'll descend a few cement stairs into the lower level of a Victorian Style building. The first thing you'll notice is the size of Yak-zies. It is a bit cramped, but they recently extended their bar to include the street level for some much needed drinking space. Yak-Zies signature is its hot wings. They are good. They come in mild, medium, hot, and "Oh My Gosh." Along with the wings, they have a lot of other great food choices. They're not the cheapest, but you get your fair share. Yak-zies stays open till 5:00AM, so when you leave to the sound of the singing morning birds, you can take one look back at the logo to see what you'll look like in a few short hours.
The names keep on getting better and better don't they? It's late, you've been out all night, and there's nothing like a good drunk dance-sesh to cap off the night. The Hangge Uppe is not a hole in the wall, either. It's located on 14 West Elm Street, nearby the Clark/Division night scene. With the great location comes a long line, so be sure to get there early and to have $10 in your pocket for cover. The Hangge Uppe is a hopping bar and a great place to dance. Now, when I say "dance," I realize that can mean anything. The Hangge Uppe isn't a prestigious crowd, as you could probably tell by its vinyl record logo hanging above the door. The DJ plays music from the ‘50's - 80's, and lets people have a good time. So if you feel like dancing after 2:00 (and let's face it, who doesn't?), The Hangge Uppe is the place for you.
Do you have the blues, baby? Kingston Mines is one of the Chicago's oldest and largest blues bars, and it stays open late. Kingston Mines offers live blues music seven days a week. Actually, it offers great live blues music. This place comes complete with two stages, extremely talented blues musicians who know how to get a crowd going, and the bar staff will gladly keep your tongue wet. Getting in can cost you anywhere from $12-$20, depending on the night and if you pay in advance, but in my opinion, it is well worth it. If you are visiting Chicago, you need to see some blues, and you might as well jump in and listen to it all night.
Help us keep the lights on by subscribing to Chicago Like a Local. For your efforts, we'll deliver awesome stories (like this one) to your inbox. Do we have a deal?