Craft cocktailing in Logan Square

Live music's great in theory, but it usually comes with a laundry list of suckitude: cover charges, bills crammed w/ six acts, and overpriced, watery booze, all in an uninspiring space you'll have to flash your handstamp to reenter, even if they know at a glance that you're totally in the PEN15 club. Solving all of those problems: The Whistler

Started by two indie label owners/members of a punk acapella group (seriously), Whistler's a music venue so great, you'd happily hang out when no bands are playing: decked out w/ exposed brick, an L-shaped walnut bar top, reclaimed church pews and chairs w/ hymnal holders on back, and an intimate, nicotine-friendly back patio, where you can indulge in the habit that'll one day ensure daily prayer. About 3x a week, for no cover, a (usually) single-billed band or dj'll take over the roomy raised stage, with upcomers including classic-country-tinged State Champion, languid lo-fiers Thin Hymns, and tomorrow's inaugural act, hip-hop duo DJ Tanner (neither married to that Bure sister brother). Booze includes $3 PBRs, plus 20-ish Midwestern microbrews from the likes of Bell's, Great Lakes, and Three Floyds; solid well booze is just $4, 100% blue agave margs $6, and classic cocktails $8, from the Sazerac (w/ rye aged 6 years in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels) to the creme de cassis, ginger beer, and Chinaco Blanco "Diablo" -- as only a white devil can comfortably take in the seductive tang of creme de cassis.

Every two months, Whistler will rotate in a fresh 3D installation from a local artist (1st up = Mark Benson's "Totally Permanent") in a glass-cased window facing the street, saving you a trip to a venue more harrowing than all the rest, the museum.

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