by Amanda Look

There’s something about a jukebox that is wonderfully comforting; be it the familiar and nostalgic oldies booming from it, the PBR in hand, or the quaint setting that you always find a jukebox in – the ever-loved dive bar. Or, as most people call them, “the neighborhood bar”. The jukebox is perfect for a neighborhood bar setting because it fosters a community feel as much as the bar itself does – everyone can come together to choose the evening’s tunes. Check out these five jukeboxes – in five different Chicago neighborhoods!


Hours: Mon-Fri, Sun 12pm-2am; Sat 12pm-3am

Located just off the Granville red line stop, Sovereign can be found in the Edgewater neighborhood near Loyola University’s Rogers Park campus. Sovereign has a very loyal clientele who love its homey, laid-back digs. It’s one of the only bars left in the city of Chicago where you can roll up to the counter and buy a six-pack. Sovereign has one of the more unique jukeboxes in this fine city – its contents are made up of mixes created by bar staff and friends. In such a diverse neighborhood of old and new, it’s only appropriate that the music is too! So pull up a stool, grab a $2 brew, and prepare yourself to hear a slew of fun tunes!


Hours: Sun 6pm–2am; Mon-Fri 3pm–2am; Sat 3pm–3am

This Humboldt Park bar has been pouring generously since 1943. And the legend of Archie lives on thanks to current owner and daughter, Katrina. It’s pretty rare to find a bar in the city where everyone knows the bartender’s name – but that is most certainly the case at Archie’s. The bar boasts a rich history of shows and musical guests, and they definitely have a jukebox to brag about. With free board games, pool, and drinks as cheap as them come, what’s not to love?

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Hours: Mon –Thurs, Sun 6pm-2am; Fri 4pm-2am; Sat 6pm-3am

This relatively new Logan Square bar opened its doors in December 2010. Its new digs have a grand tin ceiling, exposed brick, flat screens and chandeliers – not exactly the typical “dive bar” look. But The Double has its own character – serving up a fantastic range of beers and offering its customers an equally impressive rage of diverse tunes to choose from on their jukebox. In one sitting you should expect to hear anything from hip-hop to good ol’ American rock, to alternative metal. Check out their “Double of the Day” special of a beer and a shot for $7.


Hours: Mon – Fri 3pm-2am; Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-2am

Just a few short blocks from the Armitage Brown Line stop in Lincoln Park you can find Shoes Pub, a second home for many in the neighborhood. Shoes’ jukebox is stuffed with a varied music selection, and they host karaoke on weekends. Shoes is best known for offering darts, which they take pretty seriously! The bar has three regulation-size dart boards and top of the line steel-tipped darts. So dial up your favorite jams and let the games begin!


Hours: Mon-Fri 3pm-2am; Sat 12pm-3am; Sun 12pm-2am

Celtic Crossings is arguably one of the most authentic Irish Pubs in Chicago. Situated in the River North neighborhood near Clark St and Chicago Ave, its bright red exterior is easy to spot! Celtic Crossings is famous for its impressive array of drinks – including its 12 different Irish whiskeys, 13 draught beers, and perhaps the best Guinness in the city. It’s a great spot for the winter months – its ambiance and decor is really warm and inviting. While their jukebox cranks out traditional Irish tunes, gathered around their roaring fireplace is a great place to find yourself on a chilly night with friends.

Amanda Look lives in Chicago and works for an academic association doing event coordination. She blogs about city living and never gets tired of exploring its neighborhoods and events.
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