Nightlife » Chicago, IL

Nightlife in Chicago, IL

Whether you're looking to soak in a taste of the local life at a low-key neighborhood bar or want to see-and-be-seen at a trendy new hot spot downtown, Chicago nightlife has a little something for everyone.
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Bottle & Bottega

Grab your favorite bottle of wine and get ready to paint the town red (literally). As their tagline aptly implies, the folks at Bottle & Bottega put the 'art' in 'party'. Chicago's original BYOB art party purveyors, located in South Lakeview, combine a unique hands-on approach to art instruction with a BYOB concept. They supply the paintbrushes and canvas, you supply the booze.

If the idea of painting has you shaking in your Manolos, don't sweat it, you don't have to be Picasso to enjoy yourself at Bottle & Bottega. Novices are encouraged to sign up for a class (or as they prefer to call them, parties) to learn a thing or two about painting all while enjoying a glass of wine. What's not to love?

Walk-ins are welcome or you may call ahead to book a private party. As a tip, check out their events calendar ahead of time to plan around their theme nights.

Beauty Bar Chicago

How do you make happy hour even happier? Why, by adding manicures of course! If you're on the hunt for a place to get pampered with the girls while belly-up at a swanky bar, look no further. Beauty Bar has been serving straight up martinis and glamorous manicures to fashion forward Chicagoans in the West Loop for over a year. Home to the famous $10 manicures and martinis special, Beauty Bar's chic take on happy hour starts at 5 p.m. and is offered throughout the evening.

This hipster bar has a cool retro vibe -- the interior was constructed with repurposed decor from a late sixties-era salon. Cocktails and manis aside, Beauty Bar is the perfect perch for prime people-waching and also features live music seven days a week.

Southport Lanes & Billiards

Roll up your sleeves and get your bowl on at Southport Lanes & Billiards, Chicago's most unique bowling experience. This charming bar-come-bowling-alley in the quaint Southport Corridor neighborhood is one of only ten hand-set alleys in the country. What do they mean by hand-set? Well, there are no fancy automated pin-setting machines to be found at Southport Lanes. Instead they do it the old-fashioned way by uprighting and collecting fallen pins all by hand and just out of the players view.

The "pin boys'" shuffling feet and darting hands are the only giveaway that each pin in this four-lane bowling alley is set by hand. As a forewarning, be sure to wait until the pin boys are done and out of harm's way before you launch your ball down the lane (no, hitting them doesn't get you any extra points). Southport Lanes also features billiard tables and, depending on the night of the week, ping-pong.

The Brew & View

Grab an ice cold bottle of suds and settle into your seat for a one-of-a-kind movie experience at The Brew & View. Known as the Vic Theatre by day, The Brew & View has no less than three full loaded bars open throughout movie showings. With $5 triple features and nightly drink specials, The Brew & View is one of Chicago's most wallet-friendly places to catch a flick.

You won't find any new releases here, part of the charm of The Brew & View is their penchant to play cult and underground favorites. Imbibed crowd members have also been known to break out into song and dance and recite lines along with the actors on the big screen.

Bonus: Fill out a survey on their website and get your triple feature ticket for a buck!

Kingston Mines

Get your live music fix at Chicago's oldest authentic blues club, Kingston Mines. This notorious North Side joint famously features non-stop live blues performances on two stages seven nights a week, 365 days a year. Kingston Mines is open until the wee hours of 4 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 'til 5 a.m. on Saturday. There's typically a cover (and a line snaking around the corner) but students and faculty score free admission on College Nights (Sunday through Thursday).

For a late night food fixin', Kingston Mines' authentic Southern-style cooking has you covered. Their late night menu features traditional barbecue ribs, wings, catfish and more.