Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
Location: 3258 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight
The bar scene in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood is known for being rowdy, a little pretentious, and at times, feeling like the bro capital of the world. Most of the bars on the Clark Street strip will be packed to capacity on Friday and Saturday nights and if there’s a game, you can count on 2-3 times the crowd on the streets. Sheffield’s is like an oasis. In the midst of so much drunken debauchery, lies a cool, laid back bar with great food and an even better beer menu. They have what feels like 4 separate bars, each of which is fitted with multiple big screen TVs; and a huge outdoor area with it’s own bar. This place can get pretty wild from time to time, but the bros and yuppies tend to stay away; leaving an atmosphere filled with peace and girls that aren’t being harassed at every turn.
Location: 1024 N Western Avenue, Chicago P: 773-451-5625 Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight
Best burgers in the city…hands down…the end…Seriously though, the burgers at this place could speak for themselves. Located on Western Ave in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, Lockdown is far from your average bar. For starters they strictly play heavy metal and the theme is half jail cell half dungeon; their beer menu is chalk full of craft brews, and they have down right awesome food. Take “The Death Sentence” for instance, 20 oz of beef, double stacked with bacon and yellow cheddar; topped with carmalized onions on a pretzel roll. They offer a wide variety of cheeses as well including Brie, Chevre, Gorgonzola and Merkts Cheddar to name a few. Top 5 burger spots dead or alive, that means EVER in Chicago, if you don’t believe go check out Lockdown yourself.
Sadly, Rodan in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood has closed it’s doors for good. Not many details regarding the reasons why, but the owners did release a statement saying that rent had increased by $2,000 and they “no longer had the fire” to run the place. Hopefully it’s not replaced by something like Urban Outfitters.
This Friday you will probably be able to see a solid cloud of weed-smoke coming out of Soldier Field, as ‘Deadheads’ will be pouring in from all around to see the final performances of The Grateful Dead. The band kicked off their final farewell concert series in Santa Clara, CA on June 27th, drawing crowds of 80,000 people each night. Fans in the Mid-west will be able to see the final shows this weekend at Chicago’s Soldier Field, which also marks a special location for the Dead: the group’s final performance with original member Jerry Garcia took place at Soldier Field nearly 20 years ago. For this final farewell, original members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart will be performing with guitarist Trey Anastasio of Phish, and the performance is expected to be recorded and released as part of a special collection later this year. Deadheads should also keep an eye out for further news of the upcoming Grateful Dead documentary from executive producer Martin Scorsese (The Last Waltz, George Harrison: Living in the Material World) and director Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, Happy Valley) that is also expected out later this year. If you weren’t able to secure a ticket, or would just like to see the performance, several venues across the city will be showing a live broadcast of the concerts: Park West in the Lincoln Park neighborhood will be displaying the Friday and Saturday concerts for $32.50 (a live acoustic band is also included for the intermission) and City Winery in the West Loop will be displaying all three shows on a large projection screen for $18, so be sure to check these out if you really want to see them play! Enjoy!
The Piggery has been serving Chicagoans great tasting pulled-pork barbeque for the last 65 years. Located in Lake View at the intersection of Irving Park Rd and Ashland Ave, the restaurant has just had its grand re-opening since a fire damaged the building in February, 2012. Featuring delicious barbeque pulled-pork sandwiches, burgers, chicken entrees, a full service bar and a breakfast menu on Saturday and Sunday mornings, The Piggery is definitely worth stopping in for a midday Cubs game or an evening meal. Check out this clip from Chicago’s Best, as they stop in to try the Piggery’s famous Cuban Sandwich! The Piggery is available on Yelp, GrubHub, and Delivery.com, so be sure to stop-by!
Location: 1551 W Division Street, Chicago When: Monday, October 20th // 10PM-4AM
As we get closer to Halloween, the Porn & Chicken dance parties have been heating up. Tonight, the crew will once again rock the Evil Olive in Wicker Park for their “Caligula” banger. Paying homage to the 1979 film by the same name, the “Caligula” event can be considered a XXX toga party. As always these are 21+ and cover is $10, if you’re down for the long haul, click the link below to RSVP for no cover before 11AM via Do312.
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago When: Thursday, October 16th @ 9PM
Fake Shore Drive will be curating an event at Wicker Park’s Emporium Barcade tonight, and the lineup is pretty dope. The night will feature performances from Joey Purp, Netherfriends, Chris Crack, Fess Grandiose and Angel Katz, rounding out what should be a good time. This one’s 21+ and it’s FREE, if you’re looking for something to fill out your Thursday night you should stop by Emporium.
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago When: Thursday, May 22nd @ 9PM
Tonight, the Union Concert Series will pick up where it left off with a dope show at Emporium Barcade in Wicker Park. The event is FREE and will feature performances from Pivot Gang, Auggie The 9th, Hurt Everybody and Saint Millie; rounding out what should be an awesome night. This one’s 21+ and as previously stated, it’s fuckin FREE. If you’re looking for something to get into for your thirsty Thursday evening, look no further than Emporium.
Location: 1035 N Western Avenue, Chicago When: Saturday, February 15th @ 10PM
The Windy City Soul Club will be back at the Empty Bottle tonight, for it’s monthly event. The best rare soul DJs in the city will all converge under one roof, providing more than enough tunes to get down to. These are always 21+, the door for this event is $5 and presale tickets will not be available. If you’re looking to dance the night away, your best bet is to get there early before the place gets packed.