As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
The Hubbard Inn looks more like an eclectic 19th-century mansion than a restaurant. One might lounge on a couch by a fireplace in the second floor's book-lined library, or pull up a chair at the ground floor's rough-hewn wooden tables. The third story houses a key club, where raftered ceilings, brick walls, and vintage mirrors lend an extra touch of charm to the surroundings. Overhead, scores of globe lights and chandeliers fill the space with the elegant glow of an irradiated top hat.
Wherever diners choose to sit in these plush surroundings, they'll get to play with many combinations of craft cocktails and Old World-inspired cuisine. Sazeracs and aviations pair nicely with small plates of house-made ravioli filled with sheep's milk ricotta, as well as Gruyere and shallot-topped flatbreads. Heartier appetities, however, might want to match a main course of bison burgers and steak with craft beer. Brunch, meanwhile, gives late-risers an opportunity to chase peaches 'n' cream french toast and lobster omelets with one of the Hubbard Inn's speciality cocktails, such as the Hepburn's zesty blend of cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur, and fresh lemon.
Brehon Pub's original tin ceilings have hovered above the establishment since the historical building's construction shortly after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Throughout the century-long parade of patrons that has followed, the pub has had its share of brushes with fame—movie cameras have repeatedly been attracted to the saloon's classic décor, and crooked city inspectors were brought to justice in the bar in 1977 during a nationally reported sting set up by the Chicago Sun-Times. More recently, dignified clientele such as Barack Obama and John Kerry have perched themselves upon the original Brunswick bar. In 1980, the Burke brothers hung their family's coat of arms above the doors of the historical site and began dishing out classic Irish fare, including shepherd's pie and Guinness stew. Today, bartenders pull more than 15 domestic and foreign draft beers from the taps or slide 1 of 41 bottled beers toward thirsty customers. Diners seated at the pub's long cocktail tables can toast to the pictures of Irish writers mounted on the wall, gaze at an authentic Irish World Cup jersey, or whisper Yeats poems into the breeze from the seats of the sidewalk cafe.
When asked to describe The Palmer House Hilton, most will probably mention its soaring columns, ceiling murals, and elaborate wall sconces. But there's more to this historic Chicago landmark than just a pretty face—specifically, it hosts Lockwood Restaurant & Bar, an upscale eatery celebrating all the flavors to be gleaned from fresh, natural ingredients. Chef Joseph Rose and Sous Chef Valeria Benner craft entrees with ingredients reaped nearby, such as meat and eggs from Slagel Family Farm in Fairbury, fish harvested from Lake Superior, and produce from their own rooftop garden. They pair this farm-to-table feast with an extensive wine list featuring hundreds of vintages from all over the world. Inside, the restaurant bears all the same earmarks of century-old elegance as the grand hall that serves as its lobby. Plush carpets and dark wood paneling anchor a dining room of marble walls and etched-glass partitions. Massive chandeliers hang overhead, bathing the space in a warm, flickering light that hearkens back to an age of chilled martinis, flapper dresses, and unstable power grids.
Sit down with a simple sandwich or salad — Perennial Virant caters to those craving an all-American meal. Put the diet on pause when you visit Perennial Virant — there are no low-fat menu items. Don't go without drinks at dinner — Perennial Virant is BYOB, so make sure to grab a bottle of your own for the table. Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list. Plan your next big gathering at Perennial Virant — patrons will appreciate the spacious interior, and there's even a private room for special occasions.
Reservations are available, so give the restaurant a call before you head over for the fastest seating. The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Perennial Virant to your next party or event.
There's nearby street parking available as well as a valet service. If you're not in the mood to drive, hop on public transportation instead; nearby stops include North/Clybourn (Red), Armitage (Purple, Brown), and Sedgwick (Purple, Brown).
Checks are bigger than average at the restaurant, so prepare your wallet.
Reggies entertains music fiends with a trio of havens all located within steps of each other. Reggies Rock Club is an all-ages and 17-and-older music venue, hosting an eclectic variety of local and touring bands against a backdrop of graffiti murals. Upstairs, Reggies Music Joint provides a 21-and-older crowd with a full bar, nightly music, and pub fare such as jumbo wings and chargrilled Angus burgers draped in 1 of 10 types of cheese. Clientele swig from 25 drafts on tap, 45 bottled brews, or top-shelf spirits to wet whistles and lubricate head-banging muscles while bands perform on stage. Sports play on 17 flat-screen TVs and memorabilia lining the walls elucidates rock 'n' roll's history.
Next door, Record Breakers offers a cadre of new and used music merchandise for fans to peruse, spanning genres from punk to rock to Johnny Cash. A hefty library of CDs and DVDs bridges the physical-digital divide, whereas hard-to-find vinyl satisfies analog lovers, filling in holes in record collections and tree-house walls.