Want to go somewhere where the whiskey is strong and the guitars are loud? Chicago has plenty to offer at the lavish end of the nightlife spectrum but for a classic night of stripped-down, classic fun and punk rock music, you've got options too.
Exit (1315 W. North Ave)
Exit opened more than twenty years ago and we're not sure it's spent even one day closed since then. On any given night, you can catch a local band warming up the club's stage or one of its resident DJs spinning punk, metal, grunge or whatever else floats their boat. Exit is open until 4 a.m. every night. With good music and a surprisingly solid beer list, you won't get bored before then.
The Cobra Lounge (235 N. Ashland Ave)
In recent years, the Cobra Lounge has definitely climbed the ladder of hip hangouts in Chicago. Though you won't hear Rihanna's latest single blaring through the speakers when you walk in. Maybe it's the décor-more upscale than you might expect from a punk rock "dive bar" - that keep people coming back for more. Maybe it's the live music calendar, mostly alternative rock, which continues to grow every year. Whatever it is, you won't want to wait too long to discover this West Loop lair.
Liar's Club (1665 W. Fullerton Ave)
If you're not looking for it, you might just pass this local favorite up while walking down the sidewalk. Tucked away inside a nondescript building, Liar's Club actually offers much more than you'd think. A lively dance floor, pinball, pool and regular appearances by live bands are all found at this two-story spot. The crowd is a bit edgy, but don't judge all books by their covers. One trip to order drinks and you'll be making friends in no time.
BONUS: Delilah's (2771 N. Lincoln Ave)
You won't find much live music at Delilah's in Lakeview, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to brush up on punk here. A highly respectable rotation of local DJs keep the party rolling here every night, spinning punk classics along with the relatives close genres like ska and rockabilly. It's hard to decide what's better: the music or the whiskey - over 400 types!