For years, Northwest Suburbanites found themselves in a dead-end debate when it came to nightlife options. What's a swinging, lounge lizard to do: Spend an hour on I-90 (each way) to drink in Chicago, resign himself to the beer-n-shot attitude of McHenry County sports bars or drive through three suburbs in pursuit of the often-tired Schaumburg scene? Enter Crystal's Party Bar, conveniently located off Hwy. 31 in Crystal Lake.
Clubbers will appreciate the individual flat-screen monitors placed at each booth, which feature choice views of the dance floor's activity, enhanced by colorful lighting and video projections. Quiet types can tune their TVs to music videos, sports or free video games (complete with PS2 titles).
When the libations start flowing, Crystal's Party Bar's crowd of young twentysomethings prefer beer and rum-and-Cokes, but extensive wine and martini offerings are available, as are nachos, potato skins, chicken wings and other standards.
DJs Marco and Luis hail from Schaumburg's Boogie Nights, spinning '80s and '90s hits with accompanying music videos. On Wednesdays captures that '80s spirit with $2 cocktails and domestic bottle beers. Tini Tuesday's features $3 martinis, and "Rock On Thursdays" rock video format meets with $3 "Mega Mug" draft beer special.
Remember, Crystal Lake is no Lincoln Avenue with cabs circling come 2 a.m. For those big nights out, cap off your Crystal Lake experience with a room at the adjacent (and reasonably priced) Holiday Inn.
Centerstage Reviewer: Robin Wright