Chicago Bears: How good can they be next season?on February 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm

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Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears are coming off of an 8-8 season that was supposed to be something special. Is it realistic for them to come back in 2020, successfully?

Going into 2019, the Chicago Bears were a playoff team. They were preparing to play the Eagles during the NFC Wildcard Round. Everything was looking up for Bears. They looked smart for signing Matt Nagy to be their new head coach. At last, Mitch Trubisky was playing well.

Finally, the Bears were back in the playoffs. It took them eight years to get back to this exact moment.

Even though the Bears lost against the Eagles, due to a poor kicker, they were projected to be a top team during the upcoming season. The Bears were talked about as a favorite to win the Super Bowl. Experts said the worst record they would have is 11-5. What happened to that Bears’ team?

Little things changed. Jordan Howard was no longer on the team. They also lost a few role players, which included Adrian Amos. The last big change was their defensive coordinator. Vic Fangio took a job with the Broncos to be their new head coach.

Chicago still had a big problem with their tight ends, they just refused to even look at it. There should have been a sign when Trey Burton didn’t play in the playoffs that he wasn’t their guy. They still needed to add to an injured offensive line. Both of those issues weren’t addressed in the offseason.

The issues were shadowed by the glaring issue at kicker. Cody Parkey‘s miss helped hide all of the issues the team had. That set them back.

Ryan Pace instead decided to change things in the draft. Instead of bulking up an already stacked roster, they thinned it out with lesser talent.

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Best Bars With Free Live Music in Chicagoon February 21, 2020 at 5:25 pm

Sure, concerts are cool, but have you ever walked into a bar where live musicians casually cover your favorite song and you didn’t even have to pay for it? That’s the shit in Chicago, where bars with live music run rampant. Catch a free show, or just a small cover charge, almost any night of the week at these bars with live music near you.

Photo Credit: Kingston Mines

Kingston Mines | 2548 N Halsted St

Chicago’s quintessential blues bar since 1968, Kingston Mines has rotating musicians that you can enjoy for free. When they do charge cover, it includes access to all shows for the night, so don’t shy away from a meager $10.



Photo Credit: Alan Turovitz

Hungry Brain | 2319 W Belmont Ave

Jazz music pours from the tiny stage at Hungry Brain, a bar that’s totally hit or miss on how busy it will be. You could come on a Saturday night and find a few stragglers, or happen upon a Sunday where every guest in the bar is dancing to George Benson.

Photo Credit: The Whistler

The Whistler | 2421 N Milwaukee Ave

Nightly performances are always expected at The Whistler, including live music, but occasionally, you might find yourself there in the middle of a DJ set on ’90s night. Either way, this one of the best bars with free live music if you’re in the mood for dancing.



Photo Credit: Bub City

Bub City | 435 N Clark St

One of the only places in Chicago that really embraces live country music (gotta head to Nashville for more of that), Bub City offers reservations for their live music performances, starting around 9 pm every night. No cover needed.

Photo Credit: The Empty Bottle Facebook

Empty Bottle | 1035 N Western Ave

Empty Bottle almost never charges for their live shows, but if they do, it’s rarely ever more than $5. They have live performances nearly every single night, ranging from music to comedy to karaoke.



Photo Credit: California Clipper

California Clipper | 1002 N California Ave

Everything awash in a crimson glow, California Clipper first appears divey, but is actually quite classy as far as cocktails, ambiance, and live shows go. Live performances range from singer-songwriter shows to jazz bands to cabaret.

Photo Credit: Joe’s On Weed St

Joe’s On Weed St | 940 W Weed St

Hosting Chicago-born bands, as well as rising stars, Joe’s on Weed is a staple in this city, so if you haven’t been, well, get to it. Tickets are required here, but they range from $10 – 20, and you can grab a drink before the show.





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Get a Whole Meal for Under $10 at the Cheapest Restaurants in Chicagoon February 21, 2020 at 5:52 pm

With more and more upscale restaurants sprouting up around Chicago it doesn’t seem like cheap eats get much attention anymore even though if you go to the right spot, you can get some of the best food in Chicago. Take a look at some of the cheapest restaurants in Chicago serving up amazing food when you’re strapped for cash.

Photo Credit: Ghareeb Nawaz Facebook

Ghareeb Nawaz | 2023 West Devon Avenue

Indian food can get pretty pricy, but not at Ghareeb Nawaz. You can get a full meal here for under $7 and the menu includes all the traditional dishes like biryani, kebab, and curry.



Photo Credit: Yelp

Red Hot Ranch | 2072 North Western Avenue

The perfect late-night joint to come to after a night out when you need something to soak up that last drink you had. You can’t go wrong here with the Red Hot Ranch Burger with their special sauce.

Photo Credit: Serious Eats

Johnnie’s Beef | 7500 West North Avenue

We can’t create a cheap eats list in Chicago and not mention an Italian beef spot and Johnnie’s Beef is by far the most popular. Get yours with sweet peppers or hot peppers at one of the cheapest restaurants in Chicago. 



Photo Credit: Yelp

Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken | Multiple Locations

In business for more than 50 years and Uncle Remus is still serving some of the best quality fried chicken. What makes their chicken even better is the sweet and tangy sauce that gets slathered on top.

Photo Credit: Yelp

Chi Cafe | 2160 South Archer Avenue

Located in the heart of Chinatown, this late-night Chinese spot offers all your favorites like egg rolls, fried rice, and lo mein.



Photo Credit: La Chaparrita

La Chaparrita | 2500 South Whipple Street

This taqueria may not look like much from the outside but you can bet you’ll have one of the best tacos in Chicago at La Chaparrita, and the best part, each taco is only $2.25-$3.

Photo Credit: Lem’s Bar-B-Q

Lem’s Bar-B-Q | 311 East 75th Street

For decades, Lem’s has been serving some of the best barbecue in the city. Known for their rib tips and hot links, there’s only one place to get cheap, delicious barbecue in Chicago.



Photo Credit: The Budlong

The Budlong | Multiple Locations

Bringing Nashville hot chicken to Chicago, The Budlong is the place to go for southern-inspired food. Stretch your dollar here by getting the hot chicken plate, served with Texas toast and pickles.

Photo Credit: Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese

Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese | 108 North State Street, Level B1

Turning a staple into a gourmet meal, Gayle V’s is located in the pedway and makes delicious grilled cheese sandwiches like The Duke made with swiss cheese, ham, blueberry mustard, and peach slices.



Photo Credit: Yelp

Mister J’s Dawg ‘N Burger | 822 North State Street

A classic spot for late-night, cheap eats is Mister J’s. They have everything you could want in a burger joint and at prices between $5 and $10 you’ll definitely leave feeling satisfied.



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Psychedelic Gucci Pop-up Shop Will Remain in Chicago Through March 2on February 20, 2020 at 5:53 pm

Is your wardrobe desperately in need of a few statement pieces? Just head to 160 N Morgan. It’s all Gucci.

Photo Credit: Gucci

Luxury designer brand Gucci set up a glamorous, ’70s-inspired pop-up shop in the West Loop of Chicago during the NBA All-Star Weekend, and it’s not going anywhere just yet. The limited-time collection is on sale through March 2, and no formal invite is needed. Members of the public can window-shop Gucci’s expensive attire or take home something grand if they’re feelin’ fancy.



Enter a wonderland of luxury wear, royally basked in a violet glow from the custom, geometric mural painted by Colossal Media. The 2,600-square-foot store has no shortage of disco balls, making their designer handbags, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and luggage look as glamorous as you’d expect. The pop-up honors Gucci’s ’70s-inspired GG Psychedelic Collection, which recolors the classic brand logo in kaleidoscopic hues.

Photo Credit: Gucci

Products from the Psychadelic Collection are just as ethereally expensive as you might expect from the luxury brand; a phone case runs around $380, a jacket for $2,500, and the kicker, luggage, puts you back around $4,000.



Interested in visiting? The Gucci pop-up store is open in Chicago’s West Loop at 160 N Morgan Street through March 2, 2020.



At UrbanMatter, U Matter. And we think this matters.

Tell us what you think matters in your neighborhood and what we should write about next in the comments below!





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Best Cash-Only Bars in Chicago You Should Know Abouton February 20, 2020 at 10:31 pm

Cash was king for a while until plastic showed up. But in some bars, cash is still alive and well — so much so that plastic is nonexistent. Enjoy cash’s reign throughout Chicago at these bars and get back to the basics with Benjamins… or Washingtons! These are the best cash-only bars around town. 

Photo Credit: Yelp

Sky-Ride Cocktail Lounge | 105 W Van Buren St, Chicago, IL 60605

Nestled off Van Buren, in the middle of the loop, is the ultimate local hangout, cash-only bar. Established in the 1930s, Sky-Ride Cocktail Lounge is a well-kept time capsule. An overall wholesome bar in the middle of the city, Sky-Ride embodies classic Chicago; you can hear the rumble of the L racks as you catch up with friends and you’ll see a variety of Chicagoans (from suits to hard-hats) in this local favorite. Be sure you come on weekdays, as it’s closed on the weekends!



Photo Credit: Rossi’s Liquors

Rossi’s | 412 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654

River North may be saturated with expensive clubs and trendy bars but in the midst of the overwhelming nightlife lies triumph: Rossi’s. A divey, cash-only bar and local favorite, Rossi’s may become your favorite after-work or pre-game spot. It may not be much to look at from the outside but never judge a bar by its cover. Rossi’s happens to be a super friendly yet dark and charming establishment for all of your beer and liquor needs.

Photo Credit: Second Story Bar

Second Story Bar | 157 E Ohio St #2, Chicago, IL 60611

Twinkling lights set the ambiance for your evening at Second Story Bar. When you order an affordable (and strong!) drink from this LGBTQ+ friendly bar right off of Michigan Avenue, you’re paying homage to years’ progress and appreciation for the queer community. Although Second Story Bar can be a bit cramped at times, this place is a friendly, intimate, and affordable option for your nights on Michigan Avenue!



Photo Credit: Yelp

Ed & Jean’s Tavern | 2032 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

A Bucktown neighborhood standard, Ed & Jean’s Tavern is like going to your Uncle Ed’s and Aunt Jean’s for a casual evening. Established in 1951, this tavern is a fan favorite for an old-school bar with friendly smiles and strong drinks. If you feel like getting out of the house but still being comfortable, head to Ed & Jean’s — you can bring in your own food and enjoy a few favorite brews all the while hanging out with strangers and friends alike. 

Photo Credit: Yelp

Zakopane | 1734 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

Zakopane is a timeless and dark Polish bar complete with a jukebox and Eastern European bartenders. Although the beer selection is limited, Zakopane’s throwback ambiance (wood paneling!) is totally worth it. Join your friendly neighbors with a shot of “spirytus” while listening to polka (or a ’90s throwback pop hit) on the jukebox. Alternatively, you can play some pool, bring your own food, and find solace in this hometown hub.



Photo Credit: Bernice’s Tavern

Bernice’s Tavern | 3238 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

Sometimes you just want to feel warm and welcomed — and that you will be at Bernice’s Tavern. Owner Steve has the personality to keep you coming back for more (and if he doesn’t, then their cheap beers will). You’ll see your classic domestics beers along with some local names (like Lagunitas) and imports. Whether you prefer to watch a movie on Mondays, play STINGO (Steve’s Bingo) on Wednesdays, or listen to musicians’ open mic night on Thursdays, Bernice’s is a great change of pace for those in Chicago who want to add some enthusiastic quirks to their weekday evenings. 

Photo Credit: Reed’s Local

Reed’s Local | 3017 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

A divey, cash-only bar centered around the Avondale neighborhood and family, Reed’s Local is a lively option for those who want to get to know their neighbors (be it through karaoke, board game nights, or a local, craft, draft brew). You’re part of the family here, whether you bravely try the “Three-Eyed Crow” Combo or simply pick up the mic. Impress your friends and support your neighbors at Reed’s Local!



Photo Credit: Whirlaway Lounge

Whirlaway Lounge | 3224 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Whirlaway Lounge is for folks who don’t need flashy decor or lots of televisions to enjoy their evening with a beer and friends. With plenty of beers to choose from, Whirlaway offers a lot of hops for your buck. Feel stumped about which beer to opt for? Maria, the owner and bartender, is your friendly guide and new best friend. If you’re looking for a family, neighborhood establishment with no frills but plenty of friendship, Whirlaway Lounge is just for you. 

Photo Credit: Bob Inn

Bob Inn | 2609 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

In all sincerity, Bob Inn is an option for all of your friends: old, young, and everything in between. No pretentious folks here but if you happen to carry this air about you, just check that at the door. Bob Inn is a grungy, non-judgmental bar full of inexpensive beers and straight-shooters. Here, at the ‘Bob’, the beer floweth and the pinball pings. 



Photo Credit: Sidekicks Bar

Sidekick’s | 4424 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60641

If you ever wanted an encouraging theater friend in high school to help you explore your musical passions (even though that was socially unacceptable because you were the star basketball player), then Sidekick’s is that dream friend come true. Encouraging and charismatic, Sidekick’s is an approachable yet lively place for you to explore your artistic self through the art of karaoke. Let’s say karaoke isn’t your style. You’re sure to find darts, video games, and conversation plentiful. Regardless, the Sidekick’s crowd and their friendly bartenders are sure to bring out the best in you and your singing skills!



Explore Chicago’s greatest throwback bars without your three friends this time (those three friends being Visa, AmEx, and Mastercard).



At UrbanMatter, U Matter. And we think this matters.

Tell us what you think matters in your neighborhood and what we should write about next in the comments below!

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