Chicago Is a Bar. What Is Each Neighborhood Doing?
It is no secret that Chicagoans like to drink -- especially if it’s during the weekend or a day ending in "y." But what if instead of being a city filled with a million (or so) bars, Chicago was one big bar and each of the neighborhoods was personified as a patron? Step into our fabricated Twilight Zone, and hold onto your butts.
Everyone is asking Avondale if he walked in with Logan Square, and he makes it very clear that he most definitely did not. Logan Square isn’t even that cool anyway (“overrated”). Later on in the night, Avondale is spotted hitting on Logan Square pretty hard. Drink of choice: difficult-to-pronounce Polish beer.
Bridgeport is always the first one at the bar because he works nights. Pulling up a seat next to Bridgeport is a trip because he has an inexhaustible supply of jokes, many of which he picked up while hanging out at Joe’s Barbershop “over dere” on 26th St. Drink of choice: Schlitz-and-bourbon boilermaker.
The scarf game of Bucktown is incomparable. Always looking seasonally chic, Bucktown came home from her Downtown office and swapped her pantsuit for an Instagram-worthy outfit with the efficiency of a NASCAR pit crew. Once at the bar, she chats up everyone within a 5ft radius, dishing out charm left and right. If you didn’t know her, you’d never guess she was a cutthroat lawyer for an evil megacorp. Drink of choice: merlot.
Do not be fooled by Gold Coast. She may look distant while sidled up to the bar in her strapless dress, but she can put those drinks down in a hurry and get pretty loose. She’s divorced -- twice -- and your pickup lines will not work on her. She will, however, pounce on the first guy who piques her interest. A younger guy, of course. Drink of choice: French 75.
Hyde Park doesn’t leave the neighborhood much. It’s kind of out of the way. She can be social, but she’s just as comfortable hanging out off to the side and enjoying her drink. But chat her up, and she’ll tell you a ribald joke and a story about that time she saw POTUS at Valois. Drink of choice: Scotch on the rocks.
East Side arguably spends more time outside smoking cigarettes than inside the bar, but is also willing to hand them out because he gets them for cheap across the Indiana border. When inside, he’s feeding crumpled singles into the jukebox and repeatedly playing Styx. Drink of choice: Blatz in a can.
Humboldt Park is always down to do stuff, as long as it doesn’t require spending money. He came to the bar directly from a block party, at which he pregamed heavily. Early-ish in the night, he’ll ditch out to get some food, “because the Tamale Man hasn’t come through.” Drink of choice: Jungle Juice in a go-cup.
Lakeview had a tough day at his sales job and is feverishly attempting to flag down the bartender to change the channel on the TV because his game is on. "No not that game, the other game. Nope. Not it. Nah. Yeah, that’s it. Wooooooooo, round of shots!" Drink of choice: Fireball shot; more than one.
The weekend starts at 5pm on Thursday for Lincoln Park. Sure, you can buy her a drink. No, not beer. Liquor is the coal that makes this party train roll. She may have walked in with perfectly styled hair at the beginning of the night, but that is not how it’s going to look when she leaves. Drink of choice: Long Island.
Little Village is rocking the sweetest pair of boots in the damn joint, and is also putting down some serious dance moves. Try to keep up. Drink of choice: tequila.
It may not seem like Logan Square is trying to look cool, but trust us, she is. Her sleeves are deliberately rolled up to show off a fresh forearm tat, and her jeans are wayyy more expensive than you’d guess. She asks everyone at the bar where they live, just so she can mention that she’s “in Logan,” though she’s been there for fewer than two years. Drink of choice: Malört.
Old Town is trying to keep it classy, but under that perfectly ironed dress shirt, he’s itching to get the party started. His coworkers think he’s just mild-mannered Tom, but his friends know that “Hurricane Tom” is ready to unleash a Category 4 dance storm at any moment. Drink of choice: rum and Coke.
Pilsen has the craziest stories: there's the summertime block parties blasting house music. Drinking beers on a warehouse rooftop. Arts walk after-parties. She’s even invited you to visit, knowing full well that you never will. Still nice of her. Drink of choice: Lagunitas IPA.
Printer’s Row is by far the coolest accountant at the bar. How did he score his sweet loft? Have you heard about his collection of first-edition books? Secretly, he hates his job, but it affords him certain niceties. He has merely found himself at an unfortunate junction of civilization, and will recite for you some Keats before the night is out. Drink of choice: Brooklyn.
Ravenswood is at the bar nice and early, because the kids are at their grandma’s for the weekend and she’s due for some much-needed “mommy time.” She needs this. Drink of choice: Bloody Mary.
River North goes to a CrossFit box three times a week, grills paleo meals on his balcony grill, and takes the skin off chicken. He’s handsome. More than one woman has introduced herself to him, but he’s been scoping out Logan Square all night, though he hasn’t had the cojones to talk to her. It wouldn’t work out, anyway. Drink of choice: vodka soda.
One look at Rogers Park, and you immediately think to yourself, “I bet this guy has seen a lot of shit.” He has. He sat down at the bar by himself, but 20 minutes later he has three other people around him, listening to a story about the time he smuggled a shipment of Levi’s jeans into East Berlin while driving a Fiat 126 that was outfitted with hidden compartments. Drink of choice: vodka martini, stirred (not shaken) and extra dirty.
South Loop has got it all, and is showing everyone in the bar her boulder-sized engagement ring. She’s gorgeous, has a great job at a PR firm, and occasionally volunteers at PAWS. She actually hates going out, but does it to feel “normal” -- even if it’s for but a moment. Drink of choice: Cosmopolitan.
It is a wonder how West Loop manages to go out four times a week and also crush it at her job, but somehow she pulls it off. Her circle of friends includes everyone from artists to bankers, and you’re wondering if her outfit came straight out of Blade Runner. Drink of choice: Sazerac.
Wicker Park thinks that everyone wants to talk to him, but they don’t. Drink of choice: whiskey sour.
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