On the fringes of Logan Square sits a cinder-block building with boarded-up windows and a perpetually broken neon sign. This local watering hole turned hipster haven feels like something that spilled out of a collaboration between John Cusack and Quentin Tarantino. Ronny's is a rags-to-riches tale of a neighborhood dive that just didn't have the chops to fight off the blazing forces of rock and roll. The result is a refreshing hodgepodge of loyal regulars bumping elbows with shaggy, tattooed cool kids.
This grungy bar is a beacon of light for independent bands hoping for some stage time, though Ronny's uses "stage" as a loose term—the area set aside for shows is actually an attached garage, which endears the venue to any concert-goer hoping for a little punk rock nostalgia. MP Productions, the prescient grass-roots company that books many other Chicago-area venues, makes sure Ronny's hosts the best indie talent coming through town, and the largely un-promoted line-ups usually bring in a full house.
Ronny's remains one of those bars to become a regular at, just so you'll be able to say "I saw them years ago at this tiny Chicago bar" when the next wave of fledgling rock bands hits the big time. Of course, the tunes aren't the only reason it should be on your radar; the drinks here are dirt cheap, the pool table is free and the air is guaranteed to give you nicotine poisoning by the end of the night.
Centerstage Reviewer: K. Tighe