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Bar Hours (Chicago)

Bar Hours (Chicago)
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    Post #1 - September 24th, 2014, 1:05 am
    Post #1 - September 24th, 2014, 1:05 am Post #1 - September 24th, 2014, 1:05 am
    It looks as though I will start the thread dealing with this World-Wide Web site annotating 4:00 am bars in Chicago. As somebody who frequently stays up until 5:00 am, I can provide a little background on the bars that stay open until then on Saturday night.

    The most notable example was probably three years ago (The illustration is NSFW, albeit close. Note the day.). The Dwarves played at the Bottom Lounge. I was there. Then, its lead singer, Blag Dahlia, had a post-concert DJ set @ Exit, where I was hanging out regularly. (I was on a CTA 1-day pass.)
    Yes, Blag played (via his computer) until 4:45 am. He got away with songs that would never otherwise be played at Exit. Exit is a good bar if you enjoy hard rock and metal music. Even though I'm not presenting there anymore, I go back occasionally. I usually sit downstairs. But if Frenchie is working upstairs, I'll probably spend some time up there.

    You need to recognize this. When you stay at a venue until it closes @ 4:00 am; when you go back out on the street, the buses are beginning their regular daily runs. You won't necessarily wait 26 minutes for the next owl bus on a different routing. So I rode the #72 North Ave. bus all the way back to Cicero Ave. (instead of transferring a 1st & 2nd time @ Damen, and Belmont & Kimball).

    I frequently transfer from the #54 Cicero bus to the Green Line "L". The license holder at Lake & Cicero is a package store which is open until 4:00 am.
    On the night of the 2014 Jazz Club Trolley Tour, I wound up at Underbar on N. Western Ave. I lasted there until 3:20 am (BustRacker told me the next westbound #77 Belmont bus was in nine minutes.). It's a very quiet venue for a 4:00 am bar. It'll have Cartoon Network playing on its TV set at this time {This is Adult Swim's Japanese anime time slot. Unfortunately, the PG-13 panty peeps have been snipped out of the presentation. :wink:}.
    I know a metal musician who works at The Owl on N. Milwaukee in Logan Square. This venue can get loud with musicians [but typically, not playing metal] going until 2:00 am. What is appealing about The Owl is it gets beers on draft that it amazingly should not get. But the breweries are licensed in Illinois, so there's nothing "illegal" about them being served. {Unlike at least one place with which I may be familiar whose (ahem) "house beer" on draft is hiding behind a mask which cannot be revealed.}
    While I'm talking about music, you absolutely should go to The Green Mill @ Broadway & Lawrence. I'm not a craft cocktail fan. The standard cocktails here are OK. It is a mostly cash-only venue {It accepts American Express - only.} (According to a more recent reply, this has changed.). Then again, this was a "mobbed-up" joint. :wink: I usually stick with $4 Pabst Blue Ribbon beers on tap. You should go one weekend night for the after hours show; either Sabertooth on Saturday (until 5 am), or the Joel Paterson Trio on Sunday. The #81 Lawrence bus runs 24 hours. The Red Line "L" is one block east. (You'll stroll past the Uptown Lounge. Another good late night venue, albeit one I have not been in after hours.)
    Astoundingly, there is not one, but two, 4:00 am bars on the 3500 block of W. Belmont. Late Bar is the one which should appeal stronger to me, but it actually doesn't. I think this was due to one time when I deliberately walked from the Belmont & Kimball Blue Line "L" station to there. It was close to 1:00 am, but I was hit for a cover charge. I tend to enjoy Alice's Lounge a little more, probably because it seems a little homier, and a little less pricier to me. All its nights of karaoke helps also.
    A sexpositive person I know from FetLife, Randy, used to be a KJ @ Sidekicks on W. Montrose Ave. Currently, he marshalls a monthly night of "Kinky Karaoke" on a Sunday night there. {It's not that kinky. Aside from the Sunday night when, for some reason, we started doing songs from the 1960s & 70s which would not have a ghost of a chance at breaking onto radio stations today.} Its food is ehhhh, but its beer selections are getting better (It's the closest licensed venue to Lake Effect Brwg.), and it will definitely get more patrons when Homaro Cantu opens his brewery across the avenue. :D) Karaoke there is seven nights a week, but it generally doesn't go beyond 2:00 am.

    Going back to when I ran :wink: the Chicago POWER indoor soccer team; in 1995, one of my better off-field successes was putting our post-game parties at the Spectrum Bar & Grill on S. Halsted St. It is still an OK venue. If you don't remain there until it closes (& the #8 Halsted bus begins running again), you can walk to either the #20 Madison bus, or to the UIC-Halsted Blue Line "L" station, which run 24 hours a day.

    I attended munches from a sexpositive group which held forth at Hop Haus | Rolland's until it closed. The last munch we had, I asked waitstaff what happened that it wasn't serving draft beer? The reply: "We have problems with our beer lines. It would cost $20,000 for us to fix it. So, we're contemplating it." Aside from the Ethiopian restaurant bordering, there is no other food purveyor in the near vicinity. There are no neighbors to be bothered by slightly intoxicated patrons departing the venue at 3:46 am. You can (& I have) walk through the parking lot to the Howard "L" station, which runs 24 hours a day. If the new owners readjust the quality of the food [on one occasion, I ate somewhere else before arriving at Hop Haus that evening], it can be profitable.
    Last edited by pudgym29 on September 30th, 2014, 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: http://74.115.231.54/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #2 - September 24th, 2014, 4:33 am
    Post #2 - September 24th, 2014, 4:33 am Post #2 - September 24th, 2014, 4:33 am
    Great idea for a post Pudgy! One bit of info on Green Mill. I was there just this weekend and they told me they no longer accept American Express. I'm not sure if this was just for the night or a temporary change, but if I had to guess, it sounded as if they've done away with it all together.

    I watched Sabertooth play until 5am. It was a blast. The music was awesome, but the most memorable part of the night was watching the organist interact with a couple sitting 2 feet to his right. One of them was on her cell phone the entire set as her date slept hunched over in his seat. The organist didn't miss a beat as he leaned over spying on whatever she was doing on the phone. Everyone else in the place (about 1/2 full) was really getting into the music. It's definitely not the rowdy crowd you find at a lot of bars at 5am.

    As for the cocktails, I ordered a dry Manhattan. I had never had one, but loved it here, and will likely be ordering these at more bars. It was made with dry vermouth rather than sweet, garnished with a twist of lemon peel and an olive. I never would have guessed I'd like an olive in a bourbon drink, but I enjoyed it very much.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #3 - September 24th, 2014, 8:38 am
    Post #3 - September 24th, 2014, 8:38 am Post #3 - September 24th, 2014, 8:38 am
    Great Post! I love the late night (living vicariously) stories!!
  • Post #4 - January 17th, 2021, 12:19 am
    Post #4 - January 17th, 2021, 12:19 am Post #4 - January 17th, 2021, 12:19 am
    I still love responding to myself, even if there is a 6⅓-year gap between posts. :lol:
    I wound up on a City of Chicago Data portal Saturday, and found the path to where the City lists all the "Late Hour" [Code 785] venue holders. {They're under the Community Economic Development rubric.}
    I downloaded the .csv file with the raw data of all licensed venues, and threw it into Notepad ++. In there, I searched for "Late Hour". It resulted in 134 venues which have this additional license. The one which I was specifically seeking was that of 'Alice's Lounge', because, on a trip of the route #77 Belmont bus, I saw the awnings have been removed, and the bar's name is now shown as "Chuck's And Ed's Tavern, Inc."
    Its liquor (and "Late Hour" license) expired on 11 November 2020, but it had been renewed :!: for another two years. So I surmise it is going to reopen whenever drinking inside an edifice is allowed.
    The list is pretty intriguing. It is a snapshot of whatever venues are allowed to serve as of the date you search it. Thus, it includes venues which have previously announced they shall not reopen when COVID-19 is finally deemed ‘manageable’. It also shows the date when a venue applied for its license renewals. This should assist you in determining which might not reopen.
    It is 134-deep, so I won't splice it in here. If you're interested in the entire list, you can get it yourself. If it is a certain venue in which you are keen, then you could ask me here. :)
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: http://74.115.231.54/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #5 - January 19th, 2021, 11:24 am
    Post #5 - January 19th, 2021, 11:24 am Post #5 - January 19th, 2021, 11:24 am
    pudgym29 wrote:If it is a certain venue in which you are keen, then you could ask me here. :)

    I know at least a few bars that, in spite of having 4:00 a.m. licenses, stick to the more conventional 2:00 a.m. closing time. In general, they find the post-2:00 a.m. crowd not worth the trouble.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #6 - February 4th, 2021, 6:23 pm
    Post #6 - February 4th, 2021, 6:23 pm Post #6 - February 4th, 2021, 6:23 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote: I know at least a few bars that, in spite of having 4:00 a.m. licenses, stick to the more conventional 2:00 a.m. closing time. In general, they find the post-2:00 a.m. crowd not worth the trouble.
    =R=
    Well, then why go to the extent of getting the local Aldercritter's acceptance, and spending the additional amount for the license? :?:
    What more generally surprised me was how many of these venues are super-cliquey dance clubs (with bottle service). :|
    I uncovered seven venues (including one west of the abode here on W. Belmont Ave.) which, if they reopen, will likely get a shot from me. :)
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: http://74.115.231.54/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #7 - February 4th, 2021, 7:20 pm
    Post #7 - February 4th, 2021, 7:20 pm Post #7 - February 4th, 2021, 7:20 pm
    pudgym29 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote: I know at least a few bars that, in spite of having 4:00 a.m. licenses, stick to the more conventional 2:00 a.m. closing time. In general, they find the post-2:00 a.m. crowd not worth the trouble.
    =R=
    Well, then why go to the extent of getting the local Aldercritter's acceptance, and spending the additional amount for the license? :?:
    What more generally surprised me was how many of these venues are super-cliquey dance clubs (with bottle service). :|
    I uncovered seven venues (including one west of the abode here on W. Belmont Ave.) which, if they reopen, will likely get a shot from me. :)

    The way liquor licenses work, they're often (almost always?) attached to the place, so when you buy a place, you're also buying its liquor license. At that point, it's much easier and cheaper to just take what's already in place than it is to start over and apply for a new license. So, if you buy a place with a 4:00 am license, you may just decide to close at 12, 1, 2 or whatever in spite of it.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world

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