Category Archives: happy hour Chicago

Eat, drink, mini-golf and more at Navy Pier this summer

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Navy Pier will kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend when its widely anticipated free summer fireworks light up the sky at 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. But if you’ve got the time, plan to eat and enjoy some of the Pier’s other entertainments beforehand.

Fireworks at Navy Pier return at 9 p.m. every Wednesday and 10 p.m. every Saturday, through Labor Day. Navy Pier’s signature displays are synchronized to dramatic and popular music, and unique soundtracks for special occasions. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find a great viewing spot along the Pier.

One of the best vantage points for viewing the fireworks is the Navy Pier Beer Garden, the city’s go-to destination for free, outdoor music all summer long, under the banner Live on the Lake. Opening night performances include John Kimler & Friends, Mike & Joe, and New Orleans funk and jazz artist Shamar Allen. Live on the Lake continues Sunday, May 29, with Fareed Haque, DJ Papa G, and Kofi & the New Roots, and on Monday, May 30, with Libido Funk Circus and Vintage Vinyl.

The Beer Garden is the local home of farm-to-foam beers from Tangled Roots Brewery, which creates a full range of light lagers and ales to dark, experimental brews made with hops grown on their farm right here in Illinois.

Visitors can also enjoy a mouthwatering experience at Ciccio (pronounced Chee-cho) officially opening from 11:00 a.m to.8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. Owner Mario Ferraro is a second-generation Chicagoland restaurateur. His new venture combines traditional Italian cuisine with Chicagoland favorites, like Ciccio’s star menu item, the “Italian Beef” Sandwich. Ciccio’s boasts a 100 percent scratch kitchen giving guests quality in every bite.

New this year, Jake’s on the Lake brings one of Chicago’s favorite restaurants to Navy Pier. Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap (see our previous enthusiastic review) is celebrating its 20th year in business this July, as the city’s hottest destination for hot wings. Jake’s famous wings—once named best in the country by NBC’s Today show—come in heat levels ranging from Spicy Buffalo wings to Firecracker Wings to XXX Wings—packed with habanero, ghost pepper and scorpion pepper. To view the full menu, click here.

Pixar Putt, open May 28 through Aug. 20, lays out a course of 18 fun and interactive holes of mini golf at Polk Bros Park, each based on characters from such beloved Pixar classics as “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “Coco,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Wall-E,” and “Inside Out.”

Pixar Putt, co-presented by Rockefeller Productions and TEG Life Like Touring, will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (with last entry at 8:30 p.m.) and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (last entry 8:30 p.m.). Pixar Putt is also available to Private Groups and Corporate Groups. Get your tickets at  www.pixarputt.com/chicago.

See Chicago Dance kicks off the 10th annual Chicago Dance Month with a free two-hour performance that samples styles from ballet to fire acts with six different Chicago companies sharing the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park. The schedule features Nawja Dance Corps, 3 p.m.; Chicago Tap Theater, 3:20 p.m.; Raks Inferno, 3:45 p.m.; Movement Revolution Dance Crew, 3:55 p.m.; Visceral Dance Chicago, 4:05 p.m.; and Last Dance, 4:20 p.m. Live dance performances will return to Navy Pier at 3 p.m. every Saturday throughout summer at the Wave Wall.

Wave Wall Wax, a series featuring Chicago’s most recognized DJs spinning house and dance music, also begins May 28, with Steve “Miggedy” Maestro at 5 to 7 p.m. The series continues at 5 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 3 at the Wave Wall Platform.

All events subject to change or cancellation. ​​To view the full Navy Pier events calendar, click here.

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Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras specials in Chicago bars and restaurants

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Mardi Gras in Chicago at aliveOne (courtesy of aliveOne)

Oh, if you’re feeling safe to go out there and party, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras are the perfect occasions to get your groove on. Bring your gold and purple and green beads and eat something before you go out to try all the wines and beers and cocktails that will be issuing forth from the hands of the city’s many talented bartenders and mixologists. Tip generously! Those folks are like health care workers – exposed to everyone!!

aliveOne, 2683 N Halsted St.
Tuesday, March 1, $5 to $6 drink specials
Chicagoans are invited to join aliveOne as they host a Fat Tuesday celebration on Tuesday, March 1. In addition to half-price happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., specials will include $5 Abita Purple Haze beers and $6 aliveOne Daiquiris.

CENTRAL PARK BAR, 2924 N Central Park Ave.
Tuesday, March 1, $6 Hurricane special
Chicagoans are invited to get in the Mardi Gras spirit at Avondale’s newest neighborhood bar, Central Park Bar on Fat Tuesday. Specials will include $6 Hurricane cocktails all night and half-price happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

EASY BAR 1944 W Division St.
Tuesday, March 1, $4 New Belgium Beers and Complimentary King Cakes
Easy Bar will give away complimentary King Cakes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (while supplies last). Guests who find a baby in their King Cake will win New Belgium swag. New Belgium beers will be available on tap for $4 each. Half-price happy hour will also be available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

ESTELLE’S, 2013 W North Ave.
Tuesday, March 1, $5 to $10 drink specials – Daiquiris and Jello Shots
To celebrate Mardi Gras, Estelle’s will get the party started early with a half-price happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Fat Tuesday. Guests can get in the spirit with a specialty $10 Plantation Pineapple Daiquiri and $5 Slrrrp Jello Shots. Festive beads and glow stick necklaces will be available while supplies last. Guests can stick around for a dance party with DJ Kinshame from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.

REMEDY BAR, 1910 N.  Milwaukee Ave.
Tuesday, March 1, $10 drink specials
Remedy invites guests to get in the Mardi Gras spirit with Fat Tuesday specials on Tuesday, March 1. Themed drinks will include $10 Hurricane and Corpse Reviver cocktails. The bar will have themed decor, and all customers will receive Mardi Gras beads (while supplies last). Remedy will also provide a snack table with an array of junk food for late night munchies.

THE OWL BAR, 2521 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Tuesday, March 1, $6 Daiquiri special
Logan Square’s favorite 4 a.m. bar will be pouring $6 Daiquiris all night to celebrate Fat Tuesday on March 1. Guests can kick off the holiday with a half-price happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or end the evening with The Owl’s famous late night dance parties.

THE RAMBLER KITCHEN + TAP 4128 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tuesday, March 1,

$8 to $16 food and drink specials
The Rambler will celebrate Fat Tuesday in their spacious, weatherproofed beer garden with specials like a Shrimp Boil Plate with jumbo shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes ($16). The Rambler will also offer a themed Island Oasis cocktail menu from Friday, February 25 through Tuesday, March 1 which will include $8 Hurricanes, Strawberry Daiquiris, Pina Coladas and Bushwackers.

Starting at 7 p.m on Tuesday, March 1, guests can participate in New Orleans-themed music trivia. Trivia will be free to join, and prizes will be awarded throughout the evening. Tables can be reserved by emailing events@theramblerchicago.com.

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Dine outdoors all winter in Chicago!

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Well, maybe not EVERY winter day. But it’s fun to know you have options when it comes to dining out even during this still-taking-precautions-for-COVID winter in our beloved city. So take a stroll through this listing – a place or two you may be hearing about for the first time – and see what strikes your fancy.
Year-round dining on Graystone’s patio (photo credit: Sam Stone)

THE GRAYSTONE TAVERN
New All-Season Patio. After 5 years in Wrigleyville, The Graystone Tavern, 3441 N Sheffield Ave, has winterized and enclosed their spacious back patio in preparation for the cold months ahead. In accordance with CDC and City of Chicago guidelines, the space can seat 20 to 30 guests. Patrons will continue to enjoy full food and drink menus “al fresco” throughout the winter season on the new weatherproofed patio. The space features string lights overhead, seven TVs, and customers can also enjoy games like bags, giant Jenga and giant Connect 4.

Fans of The Bachelorette can watch the dramatic Season 16 on the patio at Graystone with viewing parties every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Guests will be invited to play themed bingo for prizes. The episodes will be shown with audio, and themed drink specials will be available.

Year-Round Hangs at OGs. Old Grounds Social, Lincoln Park’s barbeque-centric sports bar, 950 W. Wrightwood Ave, invites guests to hang year-round on their convertible patio that is equipped with a four-season retractable roof. Featuring 20+ flat screen TVs, the newly updated patio offers lounge-style seating, a great option for small groups and sports fans. For patio reservations, visit https://www.ogschicago.com/reservations.

The liveliest patio in Chicago, Old Grounds Social keeps guests entertained with weekly events and specials like Drag Bingo every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ($5 entry, cash prize, RSVP: tyler@ogschicago.com), and a $25 Friday Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. which includes a $ burger, fries and bottomless wells and domestics.

THE RAMBLER
Enclosed Outdoor Beer Garden.  The Rambler in North Center, 4128 N Lincoln Ave, has  weatherproofed its spacious outdoor beer garden to give diners an al fresco experience all year round. In accordance with CDC and City of Chicago guidelines, the beer garden will accommodate up to 30 guests withfull bar and food menus available.

The space is outfitted with a full bar, six TVs and a sound system perfect for catching Bears’ games. Fans of The Bachelorette can also watch Season 16 on the patio at The Rambler’s viewing parties every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Guests will be invited to play themed bingo for prizes. The episodes will be shown with audio, and themed drink specials will be available.
Cozy outdoor dining in Uvea’s greenhouses (courtesy of Uvae)

UVAE KITCHEN & WINE BAR
BYO blanket, patio heaters and greenhouse dining. In an effort to help extend outdoor dining options this fall and winter season, Uvae in Andersonville has made several updates to their intimate sidewalk patio at 5553 N Clark St. Cold weather plans include new patio heaters and a BYO blanket promo where every guest who brings their own blanket for patio dining will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco.

Uvae offers three new greenhouses available for dining that are equipped with heaters. Two of the greenhouses will be available for parties of two to four guests. The third greenhouse will have space for parties up to six. Space is limited and seatings will be at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. with a 1.5 hour limit allowing for sanitizing in between guests.
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Happy hour and other news at 10 Chicago eateries

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Raised rooftop bar at the Renaissance Hotel downtown Chicago

We never run out of news on the restaurant front in Chicago. Recently discovered a new and long-awaited improvement at French Market’s Pastoral bar and a bunch of rooftop and regular happy hours to perhaps put in rotation for your early-evening pleasure. Here are a few ideas for getting out there and enjoying.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered why in the world Pastoral at the French Market did not have a place to sit down and sample their wares. You had to choose your bottle and go home. With Pastoral’s nice menu of artisanal cheeses, sandwiches and more, it only makes sense that customers should be able to relax and enjoy right while they’re there. And finally now we can!! It’s a cozy new spot located within the market that offers small production wines by the glass and bottle; cheese, charcuterie boards and gourmet snacks; a new wine club; and a selection of craft beers and cocktails. The Wine Bar will be open Monday to Friday beginning at 11am with last call at 7pm and on Saturday beginning at 10am with last call at 5pm. Click here for full menu.

Bobby’s Lincoln Park, Lincoln Park’s new contemporary American restaurant, is offering a delicious happy hour. Guests may indulge themselves with a list of intricate chef creations with an Italian flare and quench their cocktail thirst with decadent beverages, both classic and new, in Bobby’s beautiful upscale dining space. Patrons may start off with a selection of signature cocktails for $8, a selection of $6 wines by the glass, $3 regular Hop Beers, and an assortment of $4 Crafted Hops. The happy hour menu is available from 4-6:30pm during the week and 2:30-4pm on weekends.

VU Rooftop Bar, South Loop’s first rooftop bar, set 22 stories above the city, has refreshed their happy hours Monday through Thursday from 4pm to 6pm to include $5 Bites, $5 Miller High Life, $8 Red or White Sangria, and an $8 Dealers Choice Specialty Cocktail where the mixologist will ask guests a few questions and create a specialty cocktail based on their likes.

ROOF on theWit, the newly renovated hotspot rooftop bar in the Loop, has added a refreshed happy hour deal to accompany their brand new space. Ultra-chic and sophisticated, the completely rejuvenated ROOF includes a new open-aired space, The Gallery, and their Patio has undergone a fresh, stylish renovation. The new lush lounge seating invites guests to step in and soak up a ROOF like never before, with captivating contemporary art and dynamic video technology amidst a stunning ambiance and Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7:30, guests can receive 20% off the entire menu at ROOF.

ROOH Chicago, one of Chicago’s only fine dining Indian restaurants, located at 736 W. Randolph St., is offering Chicagoans and visitors alike happy hour specials to accommodate all taste buds with its rotating cocktail and wine selections. These deals include $5-6 beers and featured cocktails and glasses of wine for $8. Dishes include an $8 “Chicken 65” crafted with peanut chutney, podi masala and lemon sour cream; and a $7 Cauliflower Koliwada with curd rice mousse and peanut thecha. Happy hour is available from 4:30-6PM on Sunday, and Tuesday through Thursday.

Replay Lincoln Park, Chicago’s popular arcade bar known for fun pop-ups located at 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., is hosting a weekly happy hour every Friday from 4 – 8 p.m. The Friday Funky Hour features $3 cocktails, $3 craft cans, $3 craft drafts and free funk!

Kinton Ramen Wicker Park offers 50% off all appetizers like Kimuchi, Takowasabi, Salmon Tataki, Ton Ton Don, Edamame, Ikapiri and the restaurant’s famous original and spicy Karaage every Monday-Friday from 4pm-7pm. On top of this, the restaurant’s happy hour includes $2 Sapporo Draft, $3 House Sake, $4 Wines by the glass and $5 cocktails such as Kinton Panache with Sapporo Beer and Kinton Lemonade; Matcha Colada with rum and coconut cream; Saketini made with vodka and sake infused cucumber; and Shochu Hi complete with shochu and green tea. The 2,100-square-foot restaurant features 54 main dining room seats and 11 open-kitchen bar seats.

Raised, perfectly situated on the third floor of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel at 1 W. Wacker Drive, is inviting ski enthusiasts of all calibers to experience the Alpines without ever leaving the city with the official launch of its Apres This Way indoor winter activation. Guests will also have access to a special Happy Hour and enjoy après ski, a time to warm up and unwind with friends, available Mondays through Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. featuring $6 draft beer selections, $12 rotating old fashioneds, and $9 glass & a half wine pours.

Ocean Prime Chicago, located at 87 E. Wacker, offers a special happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-6p.m. including both drinks and specialty dishes. Patrons may receive half off select wines by the glass, all beers, and signature cocktails featuring the Prime Manhattan, Cucumber Gimlet, Black Orchid and Pineapple Picante. In addition to quenching guests’ thirst, Ocean Prime Chicago’s happy hour includes half off any appetizer, sushi or oysters.

The Albert, located in Hotel EMC2 at 228 E. Ontario, offers a happy hour special Monday through Friday from 3-5p.m. The menu is inclusive of drivers, cocktails, wine and small bites. Featured drinks include the Lavender Lemonade, This & That, C.O.T.D, the Albert Red, and Fireside. Those looking for a light snack may choose from an array of options including the Puffed Anson Mills Hominy, House Made Pretzel, Herb Tossed Fries, Salt Cod Croquettes and House Made Bread.

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