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.
The corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street has gone through quite the transformation over the last few years. The new Country Bar, Iron Door Pub, and Lyn-Lake Brewery have breathed life into what was beginning to look like one of the southside’s biggest question marks. If you remember Rusty Quarters, 1Up, or any of the other failed attempts at arcade bars, you know that the people over at the newly established Up-Down are definitely on to something.
The bar feels like an arcade first which is a great thing, they offer a wide array of games including pineball, jumbo jenga and ski-ball. You’ll see plenty of your favorites like The Simpsons, Off-Road, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and NBA JAM, but there are also plenty of gems in their collection. If you came for the booze you wont be disappointed, Up-Down offers around 60 taps as well as a full bar. Food? They have a small kitchen that serves up pizza by the slice, not mind blowing but definitely a good filler between pints. Pinball aficionados might scoff at the limited selection, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better one in the cities. Be aware that this place can get packed during evening hours and over the weekend, if you’re there to play you should aim for week days or earlier hours.
Up-Down is by far the best “barcade” I’ve ever been to in the Twin Cities, there is plenty of room for improvement, but there really isn’t much to complain about either. If you follow our advice on when to attend you should be good, click the link below for their official website.
Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
Martin Scorsese agreed to serve as producer for an official Grateful Dead documentary back in October 2014. The Dead’s 50th anniversary was coming up the following year, and filmmakers wanted to have the project ready for the celebration. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and the landmark event was ultimately celebrated with a massive 3-day concert over the 4th of July weekend in Chicago’s Soldier Field. Original members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Phil Lesh reunited on-stage for the event, which proved a huge success, despite the absence of Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995. Now, however, the 6-part documentary, appropriately titled Long Strange Trip from director Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, Happy Valley), is set to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released on Amazon Prime this May. Continue reading →
Talk about a dive bar at its finest. These guys have local music playing weekly, great drink specials, and the best of all, greasy one of a kind bar food. The establishment started in 1955 by Stan Myslajek a former pro-wrestler. Stan created a gigantic garlic-infused roast beef sandwich which has not changed much to this day. The sandwich is absolutely HUGE, I mean it takes a real man to stomach one of these down. While just about all of the food delivered in-front of me looked delicious; the pizza, the nachos, and other sandwiches, when the decision came I had to go with the original. I won’t be the first to say it but. . . “Nobody Beats Mayslack’s Meats!”
Talk about a dive bar at its finest. Mayslack’s bar has it all with local music playing weekly, great drink specials, and the best of all, greasy one of a kind bar food. The establishment started in 1955 by Stan Myslajek, a former pro-wrestler. Stan created a gigantic garlic-infused roast beef sandwich which has not changed to this day. The sandwich is absolutely HUGE, I mean it takes a real man to stomach one of these down. While just about all of the food delivered infront of me looked delicious; the pizza, the nachos, and other sandwiches – when the decision came, I had to go with the original. I won’t be the first to say it but. . . “Nobody Beats Mayslack’s Meats!”
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!