photo: Courtesy of Nick Flandro
There's so much going on around the hub that is Diversey that we just can't stay away. Music rattles out of open doors; newer drinkers stumble back to the comforts of their apartments, considering a quick meal along the way; a couple smiles through the window of a restaurant that fits the bill in the romance department. There's no shortage of places that give you what you need when you exit this in-the-heart-of-things L stop.
Best of the nightlife
If you prefer great music over the score of the game and quality draft beers instead of watered-down domestic brews, look no further than this rock-obsessed bar. Check out the jukebox full of bootlegs, browse the memorabilia on the walls or just play a game of pool in the front room. In back, you'll find a slightly different vibe, with regular DJs and live bands.
Good for groups
Seven Ten Lounge
Tired of loud music and the scantily dressed? Spend an evening at Seven Ten Lounge (the former and original Lucky Strike). A great place to go with a group of friends if you want to do something low-key, you can get your food, drink and recreation all in one spot. This bar/game room/lounge is home to eight bowling lanes, six regulation-size pool tables, a small dining room, seven television screens and a few video games.
It's easy to suggest that anything within walking distance of Depaul University is a MacFratty's or an O'verPricey. But there are a few places in the Lincoln Park area that manage to have some class while keeping the prices reasonable. Matisse is one of them. The menu at this "lounge-y" bar goes above and beyond average bar fare, and you won't pay more than $10 for much of it. Sure, there are your standard burgers, wings and quesadillas, but there's also steamed mussels in a rosemary champagne cream sauce and a "baked brie" dish cooked with brown sugar, raisins and walnuts.
Where to chill
Though not a music venue per se, this bar caters to the fan in all of us. DJs are the main attraction, as the identity of the spinner ranges from the regular patron to a member of your favorite local band. Music styles pit country/western against rock, punk, metal and R&B. Delilah's overtakes two floors, with plenty of booths to sit down in and stools to sit near the bar. It's normally elbow-to-elbow during Punk Rock Mondays, and with good reason: the pool is free and the cheap beer (really: It's a buck for domestics) keeps aflowing. Sundays are movie nights, featuring cult classics from John Waters, David Lynch and the like.
Paddy Long's strays far from Chicago's usual array of yuppie bars claiming Irish heritage. For one thing, one of the owners was born and raised in what has to be one of the beer-drinking capitals of the world, Dublin, and the other is a licensed beer judge. The relaxed atmosphere and educated staff encourage the casual brew drinker to dabble in the unknown. Men with thick Irish accents sip on cans of PBR, but by the second drink, ready to try something new, they lean over the mahogany counter and ask for suggestions. The international beers come in their official glassware to accentuate the flavors, like the Lindemans Framboise, a slightly bitter raspberry beer, served in a flute-shaped glass. Most drafts run less than $6, and mixed drinks, made with fresh-squeezed juice, cost $4.50-$5.50.
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