Where the bars (actually) areJames De Liseon June 16, 2022 at 4:31 pm

Celebrate how far we’ve come and brace yourself for the work to be done by enjoying libations and liberation at some of these Chicago gems:

Berlin

954 W. Belmont 

berlinchicago.com

Welcoming everyone since 1983, Berlin is an inclusive venue for dancing, drinking, and drag.

Big Chicks

5024 N. Sheridan

bigchicks.com

Visit Big Chicks for Sunday brunch and some mimosas to cure those Saturday night-induced hangovers, or drop by late at night for a raucous time. 

Bobby Loves

3729 N. Halsted 

bobbyloves.com

A longtime Boystown—ehrm, Northalsted—staple, this neighborhood watering hole never disappoints. 

Cell Block

3702 N. Halsted 

cellblockchi.com

A kinky, cruisy bar with no dress code—explore the back bar at your own risk.

Club Escape

1530 E. 75th 

clubescape.com

Longtime South Shore staple for LGBTQ+ cocktail lounging and drag shows.

Hydrate

3548 N. Halsted 

hydratechicago.com

The best DJs ply their trade for your dancing enjoyment late into the night. 

Jackhammer (reopening summer 2022)

6406 N. Clark 

jackhammerchicago.com

Not for the faint of heart. Jackhammer bills itself accurately as Chicago’s leather and fetish lounge. Welcoming and friendly, Jackhammer is a quintessential leather bar at the heart of Chicago’s community. The Hole at Jackhammer is more than a little cruisy; this is a play place for Chicago’s kink scene.

Jeffery Pub

7041 S. Jeffery  

instagram.com/jefferypub

A neighborhood institution in South Shore since the 1960s, this community-focused bar serves up drinks, community, viewing parties, and DJs in a convivial environment that welcomes multiple generations of LGBTQ+ Chicagoans.

Lips

2229 S. Michigan  

lipschicago.com

Offering a prix fixe menu and a la carte drinks, Lips delivers on drag dining. Every meal is a party, and you cannot leave without your sides hurting from laughter.

Nobody’s Darling

1744 W. Balmoral 

nobodysdarlingbar.com

Offering exquisite cocktails in a glamorous, sexy space, Nobody’s Darling is a treasured addition to the neighborhood.

North End

3733 N. Halsted  

northendchicago.com

A mustn’t miss, friendly sports bar, serving the gayborhood since 1983.

Progress Bar

3359 N. Halsted 

progressbarchicago.com

Offering a fun time and an incredible light sculpture, Progress Bar is a modern gay bar fit for flirting, fun, and more.

Second Story Bar

157 E. Ohio 

312-923-9536

An old-school, cash-only hideaway on the second floor above an Armenian restaurant that has served downtown patrons and friendly regulars since the 80s.

Sidetrack

3349 N. Halsted 

sidetrackchicago.com

Spanning several buildings, it’s easy to get lost as you attempt to find your groove—though the programming and $6 well drinks more than make up for the ever-growing bar. 

Splash

3339 N. Halsted 

thesplashchicago.com

Keep up on Drag Race at Splash Social on Friday night, featuring lots of fun and a $25 package for unlimited food and drink. 

Touché

6412 N. Clark  

touchechicago.com

Around since 1977, Touché has shared its living history as one of the country’s premier cruisy leather bars.


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