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Virtual L: Western (Brown)

Germans, Koreans, Eastern Europeans...they all love Lincoln Square.
Tuesday May 12, 2009.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

photo: Clifton Henri; the Brauhaus band

Germans, Koreans, Eastern Europeans...they all love Lincoln Square. Find out why by getting off at this lively, diverse stop.

Best of the nightlife
Chicago Brauhaus

If you're looking for a place where Oktoberfest never seems to end, a night out at the Chicago Brauhaus can provide just that non-stop German party. With St. Pauli girl-like servers dolled up in timeless Bavarian outfits, a lederhosen-clad Oompah band playing nightly at 7 p.m. wooden paneled walls and the young and old alike taking a turn on the dance floor, it's hard not to get caught up in the feeling of good cheer.

Good for groups
Lincoln Karaoke

This isn't your average karaoke night at some dive trying to get a few more bodies inside. Entirely devoted to those flashes of self-delusion wherein you imagine having the pipes of Celine Dion or the leather-clad cool of Joey Ramone, this place adds a twist to the experience: You can rent a private room for $25 an hour. Each room features couches, a plasma TV, gigantic remote controls and a selection of American, Korean and Chinese tunes. If you have a group of friends that you want to keep near, far or wherever you are, serenade them until they wanna be sedated; you don't have to share your talent with the rest of the bar.

Cheap eats
Chubby Wieners

"Basically anything with chubby in front of it is really big," said the counterstaff at this hot-dog shop, explaining the difference between the regular cup and the chubby cup of soda. Indeed, size is the only difference between the three-inch kiddie-size hotdog (99 cents), the traditional Chicago-style dog ($2.25) and the "FamousChubby" dog ($3.35), a girthy seven-inch hotdog with a diameter of more than one inch.

Where to chill
Lincoln Square Lanes

The final word in old-school bowling, Lincoln Square Lanes debuted in 1918 and has been fortunate enough to survive the ebb and flow of bowling trends with its charm intact. Aside from being the oldest lanes in Chicago, Lincoln boasts another distinction: It's the only upstairs bowling alley in town. Situated right above an Ace Hardware, bowlers climb a flight of stairs and enter Lincoln's 12 lanes through the bar, a space almost as large as the bowling area itself.

In-the-know spot
Kiko's Market and Restaurant

Goulash, burek, veal soup; it's rare to come across food like this, and even rarer to come across food this good. The kitchen's specialty, goulash, is a beef stew in a light sauce with red peppers and spices. It comes with a basket of freshly baked lepinje (pita-like bread) and mashed potatoes with parsley. The whole thing is only six dollars. So leave your vegeterian friends at home and fill up on some of the best dishes from the Balkans.

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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
  • Mac's American Pub
    $3.50 Point Pale Ale drafts, $2 PBR drafts, $3 Jameson, Gentleman Jack and Jim Beam Black shots (available only during post-season Hawks games)
  • Bull-eh-Dia's Tapas Bar
    $4 Bloody Marys, $4 Mimosa
  • Taxim
    $10 wine flights
  • Motel Bar
    $5 Skyy cocktails, $5 Martin Miller cocktails and $5 Guinness