The LBGT-friendly Velvet Rope invites revelers with open minds and refined tastes to enhance their evenings with the lounge's slate of fine wines, international cuisine, and elaborate entertainment in the form of go-go dancers and drag shows. Beneath the suffuse lighting of tulip chandeliers, the bustling main floor hosts a full bar, where 35 specialty martinis brim with creative ingredients—such as cookie-dough vodka and absinthe—while the private VIP loft accommodates dozens with a dedicated server, a private television, and plush furnishings for late-night pillow forts. Food and drink packages deck out special events, and the nightclub's calendar overflows with karaoke nights, drink specials, and live performances.
Founded by an Italian immigrant who came to Chicago in 1978, Rosa’s Lounge has since hosted legends such as Homesick James and Pinetop Perkins. Rolling Stone got it right when it called the family-owned club a “blues mecca for true believers.”
Kevin Warwick of the Reader called Alice's Lounge " one of the best worst decisions you can make on a Saturday night at 3 a.m." Best for the legendary karaoke, stiff drinks, and ever-present snacks––worst because the sun is about to come up and you’ve foregone sleep for the chance to sing. Wood paneling and neon beer signs validate this spot's credentials as a dive bar, which keeps its doors open until 4:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Olive or Twist pairs its 36 unique martinis, 20 bottled microbrews, and international wines with contemporary American fare concocted by chef Robert Nava. Shaken or stirred libations range from the Thin Mint martini, which comes in a Girl Scout box, to the Florida Key Lime Pie martini, a dram of Bacardi rum, Midori liqueur, and chocolate liqueur garnished with lime ($9–$11). Diners can also choose from brews including 3 Floyd's Alpha King pale ale ($5) to accompany small plates such as the potato-wrapped prawns with spinach, artichokes, and mustard-seed butter ($10). Tenderloin sliders topped with blue cheese and red-onion confit ($9) annex tummies before calling for reinforcements of classic American sandwiches ($6–$12) or large-plate entrees such as the jerk ribs with an auxiliary unit of saffron shoestring potatoes ($18). For dessert, sweet teeth delight in the banana split ($8) and apple-and-cheese strudel ($5), named after Frank Zappa's overlooked fifth child. Dinner patrons should call ahead for reservations amid Olive or Twist's low-lit tables and brick walls.
Executive Chef Matthew Lyon and his crew of culinary wizards craft artful plates of contemporary American fare that's chock-full of local, sustainable, and hormone-free ingredients. While employed with Wolfgang Puck Catering and local French restaurant Ambria, Chef Lyon honed his spatula-twirling skills and embraced farm-to-table-fare practices. He now applies eco-conscientious techniques to Eclipse, where all meals—including artfully plated portions of free-range chicken breast and truffled lobster—dressings, and marinades are made in-house with fresh ingredients plucked from nearby fruit hats.
Whether they're hitting the gym for a quick workout or spending an evening out, on-the-go parents can add balance to their busy schedules with The Children's Playroom's drop-in childcare services. The childcare facility features a vibrantly colored play area and various toys, with plenty of room and fun gadgets to entertain children ages 12 months–13 years old. While small tykes romp through the soft play zone decorated with pretend rivers and flowers, older kids can indulge creative impulses with arts and crafts or challenge high scores at the video-game center. Parents can either provide meals for their young or purchase prepackaged fare at the play center.