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Chicago nightlife

Chicago's reputation for unadorned, hard-drinking bars has softened in recent years. A taste for lush, nighttime revelry has brought in swish cocktail lounges and baroque hybrid venues, such as the Violet Hour and Sepia, a Fulton River District lounge-and-restaurant combo in a 19th-century printing shop (123 N. Jefferson St.; 312-441-1920; www.sepiachicago.com). And while the city's premier blues clubs still draw the country's best blues and jazz musicians, a growing alternative music scene, centered in Bucktown and Wicker Park, has begun jockeying for Chicagoans' attention.

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The Violet Hour, Chicago

This posh Wicker Park lounge is the place for a hip, dressy night on the town. The unmarked door recalls a speakeasy, the name (a line from T. S. Eliot's The...more

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Vic Theater, Chicago

In the early 1900's, the Vic was the Victoria Theatre, a five-story vaudeville house. These days, the intimate venue (it holds up to 1,400) is looking its age,...more

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Second City, Chicago

If you only go to one comedy club in your life, this should be it. Yes, you'll find Second City franchises scattered about the country, but there's no matching...more

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Roscoe's, Chicago

Of the dozens of predominantly gay bars that line North Halstead Street in Boys Town, Roscoe's is neither the glitziest nor the coziest. It is, however, one of...more

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Rockit Bar and Grill, Chicago

As advertised, the latest offering from local nightlife maven Billy Dec and his savvy band of successful associates (together they have given Chicago several of...more

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Map Room, Chicago

Owners Mark and Laura Blasingame have two passions in life—traveling and beer— and their cozy pub is a showcase for both. The giant map of the world...more

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I.O. Theater, Chicago

Formerly called the Improv Olympics, the I.O. is the city's "other" famous comedy club (it plays second fiddle to the better-known Second City). Upstairs you'll...more

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Hideout, Chicago

Finding this aptly named bar can be a major challenge. Don't even attempt to take public transportation here; just get in a cab (your taxi driver will know...more

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Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, Chicago

If we had to pick one place in all of Chicago that epitomizes the city's rich and gritty history, it'd have to be the Green Mill. Al Capone used to hang out...more

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Chicago Blues, Chicago

Chicago blues music is justifiably famous; some of the best-known living blues performers—including Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, Koko Taylor, and Junior...more

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Results 1-10 of 13  |   1 2 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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