Occupying a building that sprang up at the turn of the 20th century, the Irish American Heritage Center (IAHC) somehow manages to cram Ireland into one of Chicago’s city blocks. Work from Irish artists hangs in the building’s art gallery, books from Irish authors fill its library, Irish plays light up its 658-seat theater, and Irish food and drinks delight the crowd on the main floor at the Fifth Province Pub. The IAHC also has a knowledgeable staff of instructors, who teach classes on everything from Irish dance and music to Irish language and genealogy.
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.
DJ Dave Roberts has been spinning his new wave dance party, Planet Earth, at Late Bar since 2009, luring night owls out on the floor with tunes from the B-52's, Depeche Mode, and Blondie. Featured in Chicago Magazine, this retro fête complements the vintage vibe of the bar, where bartenders pour martinis and seasonal drinks, as well as budget-friendly domestic beers and nonalcoholic mock-tails for designated drivers.
Revelers gather around Lizard's Liquid Lounge's antique mahogany bar and intimate tables for open-mic nights, clothing swaps, burlesque shows, and darts and pool-league games. Three widescreen televisions draw gazes to tiny men engaged in sporting spectacles, while local and imported brews such as Rogue, Three Floyds, and Smithwick's whet palates. Homage Street Food's chefs operate out of a kitchen space adjacent to the lounge, where they craft dishes ranging from curry chips to char-grilled-beef sandwiches and chicken curry. Glossy oil paintings by Polish artist Tomek stand out from two-toned walls, and live music incites ears to waltz in 3/5 time on Friday and Saturday. Lizard's Liquid Lounge is a dog-friendly establishment.
Founded by an Italian immigrant who was love struck by the blues, Rosa's Lounge gathers minor-key maestros and their fans into a rollicking joint celebrated by Frommer's as "One of the best joints in town for spirited, authentic Chicago blues." Throughout its cozy, low-lit caverns, guests groove to the soulful strains of the guitar, the impassioned wail of the harmonica, and the haunting tinkle of the triangle. Since 1984, performers from a wide spectrum of styles have strode across the stage, from traditional Delta musicians such as Pinetop Perkins and David Honeyboy Edwards to the latter-day Chicago-school folk such as Billy Branch and Sugar Blue.