I stopped Jessica on the platform of the red line stop at Belmont. Heading to see friends in the loop, Jessica agreed to give me a few minutes of her time to answer some questions about the bar scene in the city. Two trains came and went while Jessica divulged her wealth of knowledge about Chicago’s nightlife!
How long have you lived in Chicago? Almost 2 years
What area of the city do you reside in? East Lakeview
Occupation: Research Project Coordinator at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
What is your go-to bar for an after-work drink? I like to go to Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap. They have a fun, relaxed atmosphere and good specials! When the weather is nice you can enjoy their great patio space.
What is the best neighborhood for a Chicagoan to head to if they’re looking for a weekend bar-crawl?
Wrigleyville – there is no shortage of fun, young bars, each with their own atmosphere and attitude.
Favorite venue for live music?
In the summer the free concerts at Millennium Park are always fun. Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville also has good live music every now and then. My personal favorite, however, is karaoke! You can find really great live-band karaoke at Piece Brewery and Pizzeria in Bucktown on Saturday nights – plus you get the added benefit of enjoying some delicious pizza!
Where do you like to go on a Saturday night if you’re in the mood to dance?
As someone who has been in the city for a while, what tips can you offer about Chicago’s nightlife?
If you are looking for a more relaxed, casual atmosphere, don’t go downtown. If you want to avoid drunken crowds, stay out of Wrigleyville!
Double Jameson and Coke… not diet!
Best date bar?
The Signature Lounge in the John Hancock Building offers a romantic date-night feel and spectacular views of the city.
What bar/nightclub do you always take friends to when they come in for a visit?
The evenings are always different depending on the friends, but I take everyone to Duffy’s Tavern (at Diversey and Sheridan) on Sunday for their amazing all-you-can-eat brunch including unlimited mimosas!
What bar in the city offers better than average bar food?
Definitely State in Lincoln Park. State’s food is exceptionally good and it’s the perfect place to catch a game. Flat screens galore! They also offer great deals – everything is half price on Wednesdays after you buy one drink and $5 everything on Thursdays. Delicious!
When you think of a very “Chicago” bar, which one do you think of?
Wells on Wells in Old Town. It has a great beer garden, reliably good specials and service, and a great, relaxed feel.
If you’re not in the mood to go out to a bar on a Saturday night, what do you do like to do instead?
I like to go to the Brew and View, which is just off of the Belmont red line stop. It’s always a nice alternative to the bar scene. You can get a beer and some pizza while you watch up to three movies for $5! Usually they play newer movies that were just released from theatres and one older “classic” film. It’s a great deal! Also, going out with friends to BYOB all-you-can-eat sushi dinner with a few bottles of wine or Saki is always a great alternative to the typical Saturday night activities.
Where do you go to satisfy your post-bar munchies after a long night out?
I like to go to Taco Burrito House at Barry and Broadway in Lakeview. The food is delicious and the guys who work there are very friendly and welcoming, unlike other late night eats that may scoff at people who have clearly had a long (and wild) night of drinking.