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Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts Entertainment Chicago Illinois
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Virtual L: Roosevelt (Red/Orange/Green)

The city comes together at this South Side stop.
Wednesday Oct 29, 2008.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

You won't run into too many college kids at the delightfully diverse Tantrum.
The Roosevelt L stop is much like a crossroads of Chicago. You can decide between going north (red), south (orange) or west (green). But before you choose your fate, you might as well stop into one of these spots and enjoy where you are before you get to where you're going.

Best of the nightlife
Tantrum

Totally off the radar of thrifty and rambunctious University Center kids, this martini lounge manages to keep a cool and clean look. Couches line exposed-brick walls opposite a bar that lines the length of the room. Artwork, saturated with aqua greens, maroons and marigold oranges, accompanies random photos of skaters in a skate-park. Dates cuddle up on couches, sipping dessert martinis like the Hazelnut (Frangelico, Absolut, hazelnut and cream), while a racially and sexually diverse crowd shares photos, compliments and designer-talk.

Good for groups
Grace O'Malley's

This South Loop spot features something for every Irish-style craving. Enter the spacious restaurant to find a bar surrounded by high-top tables and lined with stools populated by thirsty after-workers. A full assortment of liquor lines the shelves, beers like Boddington's satiate anglophiles, and specialty cocktails put the stiff Grace O'Malley stamp on your order. Try the bar's eponymous drink, Belvedere vodka served with a champagne floater. Daily drink specials cheapen the deal.

Cheap eats
Howie's

During the lunch-hour rush, the counter at this restaurant gets packed with construction workers, students and neighborhood residents, all eager to feed on Howie's food. Blackboards suspended above the four-stool counter list the offerings, from $6 pork chop sandwiches to $11 Maryland crab cakes. Howie (he works the register every day along with his wife) also serves up a lot of dogs and burgers and stacks of pancakes so big you gotta call 'em flapjacks.

Where to chill
Wabash Tap

Located a short walk from the Columbia College campus, this is an eclectic neighborhood tavern with big aspirations. Like any corner bar, it boasts a fountain of cheap beer and creature comforts like Golden Tee, big-screen TVs and a pool table. But it also boasts an ambitious music schedule, which brings everything from bluegrass to hip-hop onto an intimate corner stage.

In-the-know spot
M Lounge

Blink and you'll miss a ragingly sweet cocktail experience at the tucked-away M Lounge. The martini list features delicious-as-dessert flavors like the Lemon Meringue, a blend of vanilla vodka, Grand Marnier, sour mix and cream. The Juicy Melon shakes up Ketel One with Midori melon liqueur and a dash of orange juice; chocoholics will adore the Godiva-liqueur-infused Chocolate Surprise or the Chocolate Covered Banana.

Need more help getting around? Use our Virtual L to find places by train stop or by neighborhood.

 

Explore More

Bars & Clubs

Brand-New Bars

Brand-New Bars

Get divey on Grace; go downstairs at River North's Curio.

Food & Dining

New Restaurants

New Restaurants

Go Dutch at Vincent and satisfy a familiar sweet tooth at BomBon.


What's Happening Today
  • Taxim
    half-off wine
  • Nacional 27
    half-price tapas and ceviche, $3 Tecates (5-7 p.m.)