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Guide - Nightlife - Dance Clubs


2020 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 773-281-0177

Description: LINCOLN PARK. Grab a cue stick and a friend and begin a friendly game of pool or don your dancing shoes ­ either way, you're sure to enjoy the atmosphere at this spacious dance club. The crowd here is young and energetic, exuding an enthusiastic vibe that seems to energize the place. The music includes a variety of '80's, New Wave, Hip-Hop, and R&B. Trendy dress appropriate.
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954 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 773-348-4975

Description: LAKE VIEW. "Rolling Stone" magazine named it "Best Dance Club" in Chicago for good reason. This intimate joint has two bars, a small dance floor with a tiny stage, and bass cabinets that double as platforms for drag queens, exotic dancers, or fetish shows that perform on occasion. Video screens run "out there" reels that are put together by DJs. Music varies from new wave to house, and the last Wednesday of the month is disco night. Not for the closed-minded; a mixed crowd prevails.
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632 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654 312-266-1944

Description: RIVER NORTH. Whether you choose to spend your time dancing on the lower level to hard-hitting house and trance or lounging around with a cocktail on one of the upper floors, Castle is varied enough to please even the most finicky night owls. Top-notch international DJs ­ think Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, and DJ Tiesto ­ spin a fierce mix of house, trance, techno, hip-hop, and more. An excellent sound and light system and a whimsical indoor waterfall keep things interesting.
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Checkerboard Lounge

5201 S Harper Ave, Chicago, IL 60615 773-684-1472

Description: HYDE PARK. Students, tourists, locals, and die-hard fans make the pilgrimage to this Southside blues venue. One word of caution ­ you may want to take a cab to this spot because the neighborhood is not as welcoming as the Checkerboard is. Established in 1972, Junior Wells calls the lounge home. Offering card games during the week and live blues nightly, this spot is not to be missed if you want an authentic experience.
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Club Foot

1824 W Augusta St, Chicago, IL 60622 773-489-0379

Description: WEST SIDE. This unconventional bar/dance spot welcomes a mixed-bag clientele that's mainly composed of punks, the fringe element, and students. Its eclectic interior features a hodge-podge of kitschy articles lining the walls. Look around, and you'll see everything from kiddy lunchboxes from the '70s to toys and old posters. Arcade games, pinball, and several pool tables provide entertainment, and DJs keep things pumping with plenty of rock tunes and whatever else they feel like playing.
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Copa Lounge

1637 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 312-642-3449

Description: CLYBOURN CORRIDOR. This club's interior sports bright colors and chrome, chrome, and more chrome. The futuristic-type feel is offset by mirrors, circular leather booths, and small candles glowing on the tables. The house hosts some talented DJ's that spin everything from funk and soul to rap and hip-hop. A full bar serves cocktails and a lengthy list of beers. Two televisions located near the bar keep patrons up on news and game stats.
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Danny's Tavern

1951 W Dickens Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 773-489-6457

Description: WEST SIDE. DJs keep things happening at this Bucktown bar. Expect to hear anything from reggae and funk to techno and soul. The setting for the place is an old house that's been transformed (sort of) into a laid-back bar. Danny's usually gets crowded and livelier as the night wears on. Attending on a Monday night? Once in a while, you'll find artists performing computer-generated music.
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3458 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657 773-975-9244

Description: LAKE VIEW. Hydrate offers an energetic club experience complete with tireless DJs and two convenient bars. It's a pretty mixed scene early in the evening, but later hours see almost exclusively gay men. Take a spin on the dance floor, where house and hip-hop rule, and keep your cool courtesy of the popular misting machine. Drink specials are spectacular, and it pays to do your homework ­ Tuesday's $10 margarita pitchers and Wednesday's half-price martinis are not to be missed.
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Kingston Mines

2548 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614 773-477-4646

Description: LINCOLN PARK. This spot's mantra ("Hear the music, drink booze, and talk loud") is strictly enforced. With two stages and the only 4am-liquor license among Chicago's blues clubs, Kingston Mines is packed nightly. Local blues and jazz artists often stop by here after their sets at other clubs. With over 30 years of operation, the club recently expanded and now includes three storefronts and a late night kitchen. If you enjoy loud, riotous entertainment, this is the joint.
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Nacional 27

325 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654 312-664-2727

Description: RIVER NORTH. National 27, whose name refers to the 27 recognized Latin American countries, offers a unique menu featuring a wide range of thrilling Latin American favorites. Indeed, from chimichurri sauce to garlic-roasted chicken Cubano, the skilled kitchen staff goes the extra mile to make sure even novices find something suited to their fancy. After hours, this hip restaurant turns into a nightclub that emanates the spicy grooves of salsa, merengue, and quebradita, making it one of the hippest destinations in town.
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Smart Bar

3730 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613 773-549-0203

Description: WRIGLEYVILLE. Known as a punk-style bar, this place really gets rocking when DJs start spinning tunes. You'll hear a mix of techno, rave, funk, acid jazz, rock, and house at this dance club, whose clientele includes a mix of alternative and goth types. Pool tables are available, and booths border the dance floor, perfect for non-dancers.
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226 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654 312-787-4480

Description: RIVER NORTH. The ultra-hip, ultra-modern Sound-Bar is certainly the place to go for a wild night out. A star-studded list of resident DJs produce fresh bass lines throughout the sprawling 20,000 sq ft club, and the scantily clad dancers keep things going all night long. Laser lights, projectors, and flat-screen monitors compliment the eight bars, two dance floors and upscale lounges to complete Sound-Bar's impressive repertoire. If you're coming here, don't expect to leave before morning!
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1431 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607 312-491-8600

Description: WEST SIDE. Stephen Calk, Barry Paddor (of legendary Shelter fame), and designer François Frossard created this upscale, luxurious nightclub. Hip locals have attended in masses since its July 2000 opening. DJs spin progressive music through a stellar sound system. The main, or Oval, room has a large oak dance floor and bar. The mezzanine offers a tangerine VIP lounge filled with leather, dark wood, and Oriental carpets overlooking the dance floor. The funky Light Bar and Blue Room, with its exaggerated, stunning chandeliers, are not to be missed.
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