By Elizabeth SanFilippo

The Fourth of July may fall on a Wednesday this year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of places to celebrate in and around Chicago. Bars are celebrating the independence of America with red, white and blue themes and food and drink specials. Before or after catching the fireworks at Navy Pier at 9 p.m., take part in the festivities at some of these Chicago hotspots.

Photo Credit: Timothy O’Toole’s via Facebook

Timothy O’Toole’s
622 N. Fairbanks Court
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 642-0700

Just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and the Navy Pier fireworks, Timothy O’Toole’s is the perfect basement hangout to finish out the Fourth of July (even if it is an Irish pub). After all, it plans on offering some very American food and drinks. Grab firecracker fried chicken and a BBQ trifecta (including ribs, pulled pork, and BBQ chicken). Of course, it’s not the Fourth without some hot dogs, so get two Chicago-Styles for $7.99. Some All-American red, white and blue drinks are also available, including rocket pop shots (Absolut Citron, Grenadine, Blue Curacao & Lemonade). Play a few games of pool, take a tour of the gigantic bar and enjoy yourself after catching the fireworks show. Another perk to this Streeterville hotspot? Timmy’s recently renovated its entire bar and now stocks 48 beers on tap.

Photo Credit: Rockit Bar & Grill via Facebook

Rockit Bar & Grill
22 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 645-6000

Located in River North, this is another bar a short distance away from the Fourth of July fireworks. Enjoy some casual American cuisine in a modern setting designed by Nate Berkus while celebrating with friends. Shoot some pool on the upper lounge and sling back some rocktinis, including Sunglasses at Night (with absolut vanilla) as well as Rocktails, including the always delicious Rockit Bomb Pop (Blue Curaco with Bacardi razz and limon).

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(credit: Public House)

The Public House
400 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 265-1240

A couple blocks away from Navy Pier, The Public House is the perfect place to go for drinks and some classic American food, like burgers and smoked baby back ribs. But what makes this place a stand-out are the 12 table taps at the booths; pour your own beer and liquors, such as Maker’s Mark. Six wall taps are also available, as well as 25 draft beers and 103 beers in total. Be sure to call ahead first to reserve a table, especially for the Fourth, because these tables are guaranteed to be packed.

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Mac’s American Pub
1801 W. Division St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 782-4400

Despite its location in the Ukrainian Village, you don’t get more American than Mac’s, and not just because it has “American” in it’s name. In addition to a nice outdoor patio, perfect for a warm Fourth of July, enjoy some food and drink specials similar to past years, such as $2 PBR drafts. Other past deals that are expected to make an appearance again include a special watermelon, arugula and shaved fennel salad for under $10, as well as barbecue chicken. The DJ will be spinning all day to help you celebrate your independence.

Photo Credit: Division Ale House via Facebook

Division Ale House
1942 W. Division
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 384-6886

Divison Ale House is another pub that may go green 364 days out of the year, but come the Fourth of July, it’s all about celebrating your independence. The bar will be offering an All-American theme with a signature burger for just $5 and Miller Lite beers for $3. Of course, they’ll also be hawking their uber-popular Black and Tan Mac ‘n cheese too, as well as their 80 ounce beer towers. Enjoy your beer outside on the sidewalk cafe to catch a glimpse of any rogue fireworks or indoors in the inviting bar area.

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IndependDANCE Day Fireworks Cruise
The Anita Dee II Yacht
For tickets:

If you want to get even closer to the fireworks, the Anita Dee II Yacht is hosting a massive party cruise. With room for 400 people, the yacht leaves the Navy Pier port at 5 p.m. It offers a 4-hour open bar as well as a dinner buffet that includes All-American food, such as jumbo hot dogs, burgers,and baked beans. The party cruise wouldn’t be complete without some tunes, so a live DJ will be spinning some pop and dance music. Enjoy stunning views of the city, lake, and of course the fireworks for $90.

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at