photo: courtesy of Bridget Cicenia
If dancing and drinking the night away is how you prefer to end an evening, then stay in the West Loop. Red Kiva finds the late-twenty, early thirtysomething set donning sexy, classy get-ups…meaning, the ladies don't bare midriffs, and the guys switch out their denims for expensive-looking trousers and button-downs. But you don't have to come dressed to impress to find friendly, neighborhood joint attention. The night we visited, the club was closed for a private party, but the bartender welcomed us in anyway and even let us grub on the leftover party food while the guests schmoozed the night away.
With a few exceptions—black and white sofa chairs, bright green and tan ottomans and frosted glass separating the bathroom from a seating area—everything here is a deep shade of gray, but the floor-to-ceiling front windows keep the place from feeling gloomy. The DJ booth hides in the rear of the room—the piano at the front of the club goes mostly unused—and while the club lacks an official dance floor (due, in part, to the large, sunken banquette pit in the middle of the room), most patrons inclined to get their groove on sway by the bar to the house music beats.
Sink the money you'll save on Red Kiva's cover (there isn't one) toward a thin-crust margherita or prosciutto mushroom pizza after shaking your groove thang. They're the perfect size for sharing and go down well with the club's nice selection of wines ($6-$9, by the glass), beers ($5-$6) and cocktails ($7-$11). Ladies enjoy $5 Absolut cocktails on Wednesdays. Hungry or not, if you like martinis be sure to try the signature Red Kiva, a sweet and tart mix of Absolut peach vodka, cranberry juice and a lemon garnish.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson