By Ryan Arciero

While Chicago bars are great places to sit back and unwind after a long week, they can also act as model locales to meet new people. For anyone looking to enjoy an evening out while networking with friends and business cohorts, these local venues are solid settings to consider. Whether you want to expand your contact list in the city or just widen your social circles, these five Chicago bars will keep your friendships and communication skills sharp.


O’Leary’s Public House
541 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 661-1306

Located right in the River North area, O’Leary’s Public House acts as part of the public itself. It caters to a variety of customers looking to network for business purposes or to simply meet new people. O’Leary attracts customers from every walk of life in the city, from singles at the bar looking for a date to passing businessman interested in cultivating new social circles. In addition to its extensive food menu, O’Leary’s Bar is a classic Irish pub that pulls in an interactive crowd around its cocktail hour, sporting both an outdoor café and comfortable seating area inside for meetings or get-togethers.

Related: The Best Singles Bars In Chicago


WestEnd Bar
1326 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 981-7100

A proud Four Corners Tavern, WestEnd is another local Chicago bar that serves not only great food and drinks, but serves as a solid source of networking for both men and women. A neighborhood hot spot that acts as a public venue for customers in need of some friendly interaction, the bar’s private rooms and open tables are also ideal locations for small business meetings to more social affairs. With over 33 plasma television sets and a familial atmosphere open to music and band appearances, WestEnd will keep you in the West Loop for a long time to come.


Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
1028 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-8999

Known for its succulent steaks and outstandingly classy atmosphere, Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse is located in downtown Chicago and is an American classic locale for both drinks and entrees. While pricey, it offers some of the most delicious wines and meals around, remaining a local venue in which men and women can often be seen meeting others in the business. As both a restaurant to network and bar to become acquainted with the up-and-coming in Chicago, Gibsons is not a place to miss.


Tavern On Rush
1031 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 664-9600

Situated close to Gibsons — and thus a locale where both friends mingle and social circles in business often interact — Tavern on Rush is another high-quality restaurant and bar for those interested in a mature, communicative scene. Known as a contemporary, upscale American Steakhouse, Tavern on Rush is a premier spot for businessmen to stop in, have a drink on the outdoor patio or in the private dining room and enjoy the classy social experience.

Related: Best Bars For New Bands


Emmit’s Irish Pub
495 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 563-9631

For those looking for a lively bar to socialize in a bit more casual environment, then look no further than Emmit’s Irish Pub and Eatery near the West Side of Chicago. With an authentic Irish touch and founded on good times and outgoing conversation among friends and business partners, Emmit’s is a great place to meet new people and develop a network in the city. With great spirits and great food, there is always someone new to associate with at this cozy bar between Grand Avenue and Halstead.

Ryan Arciero is a student columnist from Orland Park, Illinois, studying English and Secondary Education at Lewis University. He is an avid reader and writer of everything local, with a particular passion for Chicago music, nightlife and pop culture. His work can be found on