7. You can get alcohol at Taco Bell
The very first Taco Bell Cantina in the nation opened recently in Wicker Park. The idea is simple enough -- do what people were already doing (adding tequila shooters into their Baja blast). The Taco Bell Cantina, however, allows for the added atmosphere of hanging out in Taco Bell while drinking, as opposed to after, possibly in the hopes of preventing a devastating hangover through molten cheese. At the very least it is an experience, a true American landmark, a part of history itself. Bring your friends, your parents, your mentor, show them what Chicago is really about.
8. There are 2am bars, and then there are 4am bars
Back in Indianapolis, most bars close at 3am -- the perfect, most reasonable time to close. If you make it all the way to 3am, you know you’ve done well. You’re tired, but satisfied, and ready to take yourself home for a restful slumber, or grab some much-needed greasy nourishment from a 24-hour diner.
In Chicago, most bars close at 2am. For many people, 2am is the correct time to go to sleep. As someone who works in the service industry, 2am is unbearably early. For my scummy, sleepless brethren, Chicago has an innovative solution known as “4am bars.” Now, 4am bars are never exactly an ideal place to be, and they are also few and far between. The city of Chicago makes it pretty difficult to get a permit to be open until 4am, and thusly the crowds from dozens of 2am bars, all across the neighborhood, find themselves crammed together at the only place within walking distance still serving for one last drink.