Piano Bars

Piano bars are one of the oldest and most traditional forms of evening entertainment. So much so that they come in several different strains: the classy, jazzy joints; the unpredictable cabarets and those of the dueling sort. Luckily, Chicago is home to one of each and then some. 

[more]

If you've got a hankering to hear the sounds of piano, might I suggest these offerings for starters...

If you want something especially lively...

Located just a stone's throw (or a beer-induced stumble) away from Wrigley Field, Slugger's is probably the most entertaining bar on Clark Street. From batting cages to big screens to beers, Slugger's offers a plethora of entertainment. Fridays, Saturdays and following every Cubs' home game, you'll want to get upstairs for dueling pianos though. Yes, they take requests and, yes, it is a lot of fun. Also catch the duelers on the bar's main floor on Thursday nights. 

If you like to stick with the tried and true...

Some people prefer local gems exclusively, but there is a reason some businesses are able to find success in multiple cities. That reason is quality. Howl At The Moon dueling pianos bar has several locations across the country Chicago's rests in the city's nightlife hotspot River North. Though it's a particular favorite for bachelorette parties and happy hours, Howl is a solid choice for any occasion that drinks and tunes would lend well to. 

If you want to feel like a local...

The Redhead Piano Bar has been a prominent downtown attraction for fifty years--and a good deal of its patrons have been with it for the majority of that time. More musically refined than its dueling piano neighbors, the Redhead is a local legend as are many of the musicians that have sat behind the keys there. 

If you want an old school, classic Chicago experience...

The Chicago skyline wouldn't look complete without The Drake Hotel. First of all, it's been there forever and, secondly, it's a landmark in the city -- literally. Opened at the close of the prohibition era, the hotel's bar COQ d'OR is a classy step right back into the 1930s complete with live piano music every Friday and Saturday night. 

If you don't want to go downtown...

Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret in Wicker Park is a solid choice. Capitalizing on its "cabaret" element, the bar showcases all types of piano-fronted acts from jazz to cover bands. There's even an open mic night if you want to show off your own skills!

If Boystown is more your scene...

3160 Chicago is the city's best known piano bar that caters specifically to the LGBT community (but everyone is welcome). Located on the edge of Boystown, off the beaten path a bit, 3160 is tucked away in an unassuming location on Clark Street. Step inside and you'll find out how much refined fun you can really have. 

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?