Chicago – Drink Spots for your Dating Pleasure

Themesong of the Day:   (And if you like house music this is a badass track that you really need to listen to before you read the rest of this shit.)

I’m a doin research on the city now that my bartender jobs are kicking off.  One, because I like to explore.  Two, to make connections.  Three because I have 2 non-sexual fetishes; grocery stores and cool lounges and bars.  Four, My day-2s are not fancy despite community advice.  I just like to go have a drink or two then head to my place.

So I have been doing research both in person and online to find some cool drinks spots.  I’m gonna share them and maybe add more over time.   I probably wont post the shit you know.  I mean ya the local dive is cool and some chicks like that just as much as going to the 17 dollar a cocktail spot (which is not necessarily what I’m posting here – actually it’s Rebar in Trump that has $17 cocktials fyi).

We all know Big Star Taco, Violet Hour,  Inn Joy and all the nightclubs where we can get free drinks with the secret password so I just wanna put on here some shit I dug up or happened across on accident or with a little work involved.

So here we go.  No order or rhyme to my order or whatever.

Pegasus Restaurant and Taverna – Greek Food,  Greek Town and I may know the bartender here  serving up drinks here this summer on the “Roof Garden” as they call it, but I’m not saying who he is.  Laid back, nothing fancy, except for if said bartender make you a drink with Metaxa or Saint Germain, then things will Definitely get Fancy, and fucking Delicious!  http://www.pegasuschicago.com/veranda.php

Terrace at the Conrad – Check this out.  #1 – I’m a big fan of Terrace bars.  I think subconsciously it may be one reason I moved to the city.  So these guys have one.  Even fucking better is Imagine telling a chick, “Let’s go see a movie tonight.” and after she’s thinking “How fucking lame…” you take her here for Sunday free moving night.  This is on my Must Do list.  http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/illinois/conrad-chicago-CHICICI/amenities/restaurants-the-terrace-rooftop.html

The Drawing Room – You probably passed this place a hundred times if you are walking near the Viagra Triangle.  It’s a hidden little underground lounge ala Mixology.  Cool little tables and comfortable seating, and they do full on mixology, but not in a really stuffy way.  I always HEAR it gets busy, but I never have SEEN it busy.  So that’s GREAT for a Day-2.  It’s not dead ever either so it wont be a ghost town.  The atmosphere is pretty chic and ultra-loungy.  Totally fits the “Underground Lounge” vibe if you’ve ever been to any in other big cities.  http://thedrchicago.com/bar/

Delilah’s – If she’s into dive bars, she’s a hipster, a rocker chick, a wannabe suicide girl (or a real one) or she just likes whiskey a lot this is your spot.  They have shitloads of whiskey; apparently the largest selection in Chicago.  They have rockabilly nights, a kind of dark and broody atmosphere that, honestly, I kinda like from time to time and pool tables so you can play grab ass.  http://www.delilahschicago.com/photo-gallery/

Cal’s Bar – Divey with a dash of hipster and some live music in the midst of the city.  It’s a Liquor Store, and an Attached bar.  Drinks are cheap and so is the atmosphere but I totally dig on the fact that they took it from some shady liquor store and made it into a shady bar/liquorstore with live music and despite the challenges are still going.  Watch the Video on their home page.  Cool shit.  http://drinkatcalsbar.com/

The Trump –  Some of you hate Donald Trump.  I actually like the guy.  But regardless of that, maybe you’re Mr Moneybags OR Better yet, maybe your girl is Mz. Moneybags and she want’s to go somewhere fancy on her tab.  Well fuckin A.  You got choices here.  The Terrace and Rebar.  Expensive drinks, shmancy atmosphere and great city views.  And it’s Trump so you can either make fun of it or…  Well make fun of it.  http://www.trumphotelcollection.com/chicago/rooftop-restaurants-chicago.php

The Peninsula Terrace – Totally Miami in my opinion.  This is the kind of place, at least by the pictures, that would be a cool place to chill and get your chick drunk before you go an bang the shit out of her.  Like I said, though, I just like terraces.  And those comfy couches and awning thingies.  http://www.peninsula.com/chicago/en/default.aspx#/chicago/en/Dining/The_Terrace/

Nomi – Some of these Hotel Bars are pretty fucking cool.  This one is located in the Park Hyatt Chicago.  I just like the atmosphere really.  It just seems that no one seems to be able to take a good picture of the joint so you’ll just have to trust me.  If not, you got shitty, beer smelling Pippins right across the street where you can feel your feet sticking to the floor.  http://www.hotelchatter.com/hotel-photos/full/404/Park+Hyatt+Chicago’s+NoMI+Floor

Emerald Loop – It’s late, you’re downtown and you don’t wanna go to Hubbard or Rush and Division and you want a good cheap drink at an Irish bar that’s not hammered by drunk college kids, but wont be dead, so you can run your Patented “I’m going to fuck you in the ass later” pattern on here uninterrupted.  Maybe I just like this place because after ordering 5 or so drinks the tab always seems to be around $10; but I’m industry and they like me so go figure.  It’s still a cool Irish bar by any standard.  http://www.emeraldloop.com/Emerald_Loop

Maude’s Liquor Bar – I have this weird fetish (apparently it’s my thrid non-sexual fetish) with the West Loop.  I think it’s because it’s got that old warehouse district vibe.  What I don’t get excited about are the places like Market or Haymarket that everyone raves about.  Not that they’re bad places, they just don’t excite me.  Maude’s is full on Hipster Mixology, and I didn’t hate it.  Get ready to hear a fucking monologue about your drink from the bartender if he’s the guy I had.  The drinks are ok, and the atmosphere is kinda like an old, french speakeasy.  Simple but Not simple at all.  http://www.maudesliquorbar.com/

The Gingerman – Wrigleyville’s original Non-Wrigleyville bar.  This is more of a step above a dive bar.  Good beer selection, cheap, the atmosphere is clean, but it attracts a sort of rockeresque crowd with a dash of hipster but not overpowering.  If I remember correctly they have free pool.  Also there’s lots of room for you to take your chick and sit somewhere and chat her up.  I just like this place.  Oh, and it has a Jukebox with good fucking songs.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-gingerman-tavern-chicago

Trader Todd’s – A Key West Bar in Wrigleyville.  What the fuck right?  But I have pulled a few chicks back to my place after meeting them here.  I kinda like Key West Bars because, well, I lived in Key West.  Also, they have Karaoke here like every night but they have some fat dipshit Karaoke guy who has pissed me off twice when I was here, the second time I told him, “Why don’t you just mind your own business and do your fucking Karaoke.”  But despite that I like the place.  They have OJ they will squeeze fresh for your drinks and a good beer selection.  And a boat inside.  AND they have a bus that on Friday’s and Saturdays will pick you up almost anywhere in the city and take you to their bar for free.  I’m assuming you are expected to buy a drink or two on the ride over so if you’re gonna pull the ever popular PUA “I’m drinking water tonight.” then I don’t know If I’d consider the party bus option.  http://www.tradertodd.com/

Matilda – So this is pretty cool.  Located a little north of Belmont on Sheffield, it has kind of a funky atmosphere that is dark and I can’t seem to describe it.  Not dark and broody, really.  More like someone’s art project.  You have to see if for yourself.  Also they have Wifi.  And they have a good beer selection and $5 wine by the glass wednesdays for you cheapasses… Like me.  And Hyatt Merlot is Delicious!  On Weekends the Downstairs bar, Baby-Atlas, opens up and the place seems to get a little crowded.  http://www.matilda-babyatlas.com/

For now I’m pretty done with my list.  I have a few more floating around in my head AND I am no where NEAR done exploring the bars and hidden gems of this city.  But this should keep you busy for a bit.  I will update this thread later.

If you have some cool places you’ve been to that I haven’t mentioned and you think some of us might not know about, do fucking share.

Cheers…

Sidecar:

Ya I know, I haven’t updated in a while and not so regularly.  I can’t even promise I will start.  Let’s just say life is ups and downs.  I got a job I thought would be cool, at Tavern at the Park here in Chicago and then realized quickly enough that one of the Owners was a drunk who was trying to hide it by basically trying to power trip on his employees.  That shit rolled down hill and got old very fast.  So I looked for another job and I am just now starting that one.  I have no idea how things will be here, and how people and management will act, yet.  Regardless I can tell it’s already laid back way more than Tavern was, and not so dumb.

By the way, did you know you can actually rate your employers now, like Yelp?  I think this is totally cool and needed so check it out.  The site is called Glassdoor.  (and while you’re there you can read the employee reviews on Tavern at the Park)  😉

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Tavern-at-The-Park-Reviews-E345319.htm

That’s all for now….

Follow the Crow

TOTD:

Here’s a little story about what I mean by Shaman.  This stuff is not bullshit.  But we will see where it ends up.

I was driving around the city the other day, doing what I have been doing lately, which is looking for my next place to bartend.  I was dropping resumes here and there.  So far I’ve had some good interviews, by the way, but nothing has come out of it.  People smile, they seem to like what I have to say, but like I said, in this industry you never know what they have a vision of in their head as far as what they want as a bartender.

It’s like me with girls or porn or whatever.  I never really know what I like until it’s right in front of my face.  Everyone is different so I can’t blame the people who haven’t hired me yet for being dumb for not picking me (even if they are 😉 . But let’s get to the point.  Inside I know I will find a place to bartend.

I was driving around and I pulled down this side street that had a dead end.  There was a big Sheraton Hotel to my right, with all these super high end cabs sitting around, just waiting.  What I mean by super high end, is that they are the Executive cars.  They are plain black, with drivers who dress in suits.  They are the cars that the executives take around the city instead of the normal cabs like you and I have to take (unless you are one of them – you rich bastard.  Send me some money!).

So I was looking for a place to turn around and sort of considering going in,  but not really. Places like this always want you to apply online, and it really wasn’t happening in the way I wanted it to.  So I turned around and was getting ready to drive off.  Then, suddenly, to my right, sitting on the wall very near my car, was a lone Raven.  I like to call them Crows.  I know there is a difference but these ones I always pay attention to look a a lot like this:

Crows aren’t like other birds.  They may be a little braver.  They don’t shift and take off when you notice them, they kind of just look back at you and you get the feeling they are studying you as much as you are studying them.  I think my window was down already a little but I rolled it down a little more and asked the crow, “What’s up?”

After a couple of seconds, and as if in response, he flew up, and over my car, and on to the top of the Sheraton.  I followed him with my eyes, watching.  I think I said out loud, “Really?”  Then a couple seconds later the crow flew down, around the corner of the hotel appearing to me as if he was saying, “go inside.”

So I parked my car in front of one of the Metro Cars and went inside.  This was a BIG hotel and seemed, at least where I walked in, very empty.  There was one lady in the lobby standing there and as I walked by she smiled meekly and yet politely.  I continued on to enter into a large lobbyish area of the hotel with a closed nightclub looking bar to my left, and as I looked over to the right there was a bar off in the distance with a few patrons sitting around it.  Off on the side closest to me were three ladies who were discussing something, dress appropriately as staff.  I walked over and started talking.

I was talking shop with them and feeling out if the hotel was maybe ever busy, worth working at and whether or not they were hiring.  Here’s the funny thing.  For some reason, one of the ladies asked me, “So what brings you in here?” or some question similar to that.

“If I told you, you would think I’m crazy,” I replied.

One of the ladies insisted with a smile, “I already think you’re a complete psycho to tell you the truth.”

So I said a resigned, “Ok…” and related to them exactly what the reason was.  One of the poor gals, a nice looking black lady, stiffened a little and said, “oh my…  I think it’s time for me to get back to work.” and quickly disappeared.  The other two ladies were delighted with my story.  One started immediately to tell me the scoop of places she heard that were hiring.  “Why don’t you try Aqua,” she said, “it’s that building right over there.”  She went on to describe it and it hit me.  Two days before, for no reason at all, I had taken several pictures of that building.

Aqua

Does it stop there?

I may be a Shaman, dammit, but I’m pretty sure we all can do this stuff if we pay attention. Deepak Chopra insists there is not such thing as coincidence.

So of course I went there with one of my schmancy resumes in hand to find someone to take it to.  Unfortunately there was no one present.  No one was there.  I went in, and since this is a big hotel that is not open yet, I entered into a door where there was a door-woman.  (This is confusing to me.  I’ve never heard of door-woman.  There is Doorman, but not so much Door-woman so It just sounds weird for me to say it.)  This was the door right next to where I walked into this area where there was this big restaurant being built that looked pretty cool.  (Funny thing, the security guy who was there later just so happened to be gone when I went in there the first time, so I was able to walk in a little and take a look..  Later I went back just to test and asked him if he minded if I took a look around, and he said, “Nope.  That’s why I’m here.  They don’t want anyone looking around.”  Little does he know that’s why he was “gone” when I wanted to look 🙂 )  I talked to the door woman and asked her where I could go to drop off my resume.  She told me she could take it but that I should go online and fill out the application because it had to go through the hotel, and that they would call people to set up interviews.

I did that last night.

I was taking a shower today, and the phone rang.  I picked up.  (If you ever have dated me or hired me or even rented an apartment from me, just know, you have probably had at least one or more discussions with me while I was completely naked and in the shower.)  Guess who?

It was human resources from the Hotel they are opening at Aqua.  And they wanted to do a phone interview with me.   The first question for the interview was, “So what made you decide to apply with us here at the Raddison Bleu?”

“Do you want me to be completely honest or do you want me to candy coat my answer and make it sound normal?” was my response.

“Of course I want you to be honest with me,” was her response.

“Ok…” I said again with a slight reservation to my voice, “But you’re going to think I’m crazy…”

And so the interview on the phone went well and I have an in person scheduled for this Friday…

Sidecar:

Earth Medicine Book

– This is the book on Earth Medicine I refer to in this post.  Click to see.

… And you thought my themesong of the day should have been Burn by the Cure?  Nope.  Ya I like the movie and the song is cool, but I am not so cheezeball as to dare use it as my themsong for posts like this – but to get it out of the way…
Here you are: