West Town: February 2009 Archives

Nowadays, you're behind the times if you hear an album for the first time on the day it is released. But there's so much music out there, it's hard to know which of the many available leaks are worth your time. Wouldn't it be nice if someone made the choice for you? Decider does, and it will be that person (or entity, if you want to get technical about it). Along with the Empty Bottle, Reckless Records and WHPK, the Onion-endorsed site presents "The Weekly Leak" each at Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago.

The listening party will preview hot upcoming releases in their entirety every Monday at 9 p.m., for free. The events also include ticket giveaways and the chance to own the albums a day before everyone else who hasn't already downloaded them illegally.

Tonight's playlist:

Pan American - "White Bird Release"
The Fall - " Transfusion"
Black Lips - " 200 Million Thousand"

Get ‘Lost’ at The Fifty/50

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Popular Wicker Park bar The Fifty/50 is screening episodes of ‘Lost’ every Wednesday night and offering special Lost-themed drinks. Choose from the Flight 815 (a selection of three different shots of Skyy vodka), the Dharma-rita (a mysterious margarita beer cocktail) and The Orchid (Blue Zephyr English Gin, herb steeped white cranberry, apricot wheat beer and soda).

Will the bar start hurtling back and forth through time like the island? Will you start seeing visions of people you know in different stages of their lives, thereby freaking you out completely? Will some bug-eyed guy come find you after you leave and try to get you and your friends to all go back, for the sake of the bar? Will this week’s episode completely blow your mind?!?! You’ll have to head to Fifty/50 to find out.

Drink specials run from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and the entire lower level is reserved for Losties (who, incidentally, are the only people who will understand anything about this post).

Daily Deal$: Tuesday

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Every day, we'll be alerting you to five great food and drink deals around town, courtesy of Centerstage Chicago's comprehensive database. In this economy, you need all the help you can get, right?

Bill's Blues Bar
$2 cans of PBR, $3 Jager shots


$6 pitchers of sangria

Gannon's Pub
$2.75 bottled beer; $3 hamburgers w/ fries

Louie's Pub
$2 cans of PBR

Half-price appetizers; $5 Jameson, $5 shots of SoCo

Love stinks

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Can’t stand the thought of Valentine’s Day? Join fellow love-haters at Cobra Lounge’s Valentine Massacre, featuring a burlesque show with Miss Maya Sinstress and Kendra James (these badass chicks will break your heart – literally), a freak show that involves nails driven into body parts, and metal band Skank. So, you know, should be a pretty upbeat night.

The show starts at 9 tonight and there’s no cover. If that’s not enough, assorted Stoli and Kilo Kai drinks are just $4. At those prices, if you have a significant other, we suggest breaking up with them immediately.

Check out more singles events this weekend here.


1. Monotonix and Turbo Fruits
9 p.m. Sunday at Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia; $12
One of the most exciting live rock bands out there, Monotonix is known for performing on the floor among the crowd, setting instruments on fire and stealing drinks from audience members. When the members found themselves banned from most venues in their hometown Tel Aviv, they decided to take the show on the road. Touring the U.S. and Europe since 2006, theirs is a concert you experience, not watch. Catch Monotonix's stage antics and Led Zeppelin/Thin Lizzy-inspired riffs, as well as opening act Turbo Fruit's Kinks-esque neo-surf/garage rock for a night your eardrums won't soon forget.

For more of this weekend's music, including Jeff Tweedy, Cheer-Accident and Buckwheat Zydeco, check out the calendar.

Chicago's Next Top Rock Model

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These days, just being a talented musician isn't enough; you've gotta know how to strut your stuff, too (M.I.A. knows what we're talking about). So it's not surprising that some of Chicago's hottest performers have agreed to take the stage as models for tonight's Rock Steady Fashion Show at Moonshine, 1824 W. Division.

The free event, which features designs from local boutiques Bonnie & Clyde's, Una Mae’s, Process & Content and Guise Chic, puts a fashionable twist on the rock parties this Wicker Park spot has been hosting since last fall. DJ Dani Deahl, Matt ROAN (of Crossfader Kings) and Jessica Gonyea and Chess Hubbard (of Rocktapussy) are just some of the models who will work it on the catwalk.

Guest DJs Dragon Wars kick off the party at 9:30 p.m. (RSVP for a hosted Stoli bar 'til 10:30pm. The show starts at 10:30 p.m., with drink specials including $3 PBR drafts, and $4 Maker’s Mark and Jameson cocktails.

Matt Roan ain't afraid to look good.

As you wait for "Top Chef" alum Dale Levitski to finally open his hotly anticipated Loop restaurant, Town & Country, you can at least get a taste of what he's up to in the kitchen. Try "Dine with Dale," a new Thursday-night supper club at West Town's Relax Lounge.

Says Urbandaddy:

Show up this Thursday night around 7 p.m., and you'll find candlelit tables replacing Relax's normal cushioned seating cubes, and burgers and fries taking the night off in favor of a three-course menu that changes every week and includes things like citrus salad, chicken with sausage guazetto (slow-cooked sausage), even a stewed winter fruit topped with vanilla goat cheese ice cream."

Daily Deal$: Friday

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Every day, we'll be alerting you to five great food and drink deals around town, courtesy of Centerstage Chicago's comprehensive database. In this economy, you need all the help you can get, right?

Between Boutique Cafe and Lounge, 1324 N. Milwaukee
$30 small-plate trios from 6-7 p.m.

Crossroads Public House, 2630 N. Clark
$3 SoCo Lime, $5 Jager bombs, $20 all-you-can-drink-and-eat

Kendall's, 2263 N. Lincoln
$2.50 Dos Equis drafts, $4 Milagro shots, $5 Kilo Kai mixers

Sam's Grill, 416 N. Clark
Double hot dog, fries and a fountain drink for $6 (including tax)

Small Bar, 2956 N. Albany
$5 pints of Steigl

finishedview3.jpgGinkgo Tree mural by Kevin Garbacz, an exhibitor this weekend's smART Show.

1. Wicker Park Bucktown First Friday and smART Show
Friday-Sunday at Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee
On the first Friday of each month, the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods host an artists' open house. This month, the First Friday event coincides with the Winter smART show. For a suggested $5 donation you can explore the historic Flat Iron Arts Building and view the art of over 100 resident, guest and student artists. Many studios offer refreshments, and impromptu performances will occur throughout the evening. Also look for performances and events at neighborhood venues Debonair, the Double Door and Piece.

SoKo's loss is your gain

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In this economy, it's every fashionista for herself; if you see a good deal, you've gotta pounce. And so, it's with only the slightest amount of guilt that we point you to the 40-percent-off sale at independent boutique SoKo Fashion (1925 W. Chicago). The reason for the unholy discount? The place is going out of business at the end of February, says Gapers Block.

We won't tell if you don't.

And everybody's celebratin'

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We can't count the number of times we've said, "Man, you know what this city really needs? A party night dedicated to Dr. Dre."

Well, thank god for the NSA, because someone finally picked up on our hints. Dre Day has come to Chicago — specifically, to Small Bar (2049 W. Division) on Feb. 18. The event, which started in the Twin Cities, includes attractions like the "$20 Sack Pyramid," a "your face on 'The Chronic' album cover" photo booth, 40s galore (while they last) — and, of course, tons of Dre tunes spun by local DJs like Pickel, Onceamonth, Intel, Maker, Trew and Kool Hersh. No cover.

All in all, it's a great way to get your Dre fix while you wait patiently for the release of the rapper/producer's new album, "Detox." We hear it's dropping real soon.


Open and closed

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Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.


Tocco – The new buzz-word among Chicago pizza (where we’re inexplicably always trying to improve upon the already perfect deep dish) is “wood-burning oven” – as if that’s supposed to make the pizza that much better. That said, this place is like Follia (from the same owners) only slightly less, shall we say, wallet heavy.

Wings Around the World –The new incarnation of WATW (recently moved from its original Bronzeville location) boasts more than 50 different sauces from nearly a dozen countries, including the Canadian-inspired “maple twist.” So, I guess we can add that to the list of “Canada’s cultural contributions,” just above Celine Dion but still well below Slap Shot.

Increase your cultural awareness at Wings Around the World.

35th Street Café – How did a place so classy get so close to the Cell? Just askin’ …

Faith & Whiskey – Ta’too, the bar that used to be housed here, was a really weird place. Faith & Whiskey has antlers for chandeliers and real motorcycles on top of the bathroom doors. So, there you go.


Fajita Grill – The food was fine, but the real draw was having guacamole made right in front of you, to your specifications. Mmmm. Homemade guacamole.

DeLaCosta – It’s better this way: We never knew if it was one word or three, what to capitalize and whatnot. Yes, we know we’re dorks. But we’re editors. We worry about these things.

Mangino’s – Independently owned (and reasonably priced) lunch spots in the Loop are few and far between, and this was one of the better sandwich shops around. So, yeah, take your five dollars and go grab a crappy foot long at Subway. That’s exactly what the economy needs.

Check back here every Tuesday with more openings and closings (and snarky comments, of course). And be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's list of new restaurants and bars.

From the Crumb

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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just opened: Crocodile
It’s a jungle out there in Wicker Park.

Red Light in the West Loop.

Off the Beaten Path: Red Light
Upscale pan-Asian establishment nestled in the West Loop.

Weekly Treat: Two-buck Tuesdays at Red-I Lounge
All beers are $2 at this South Side karaoke lounge.

Man We're Crazy About: Monticchio
Rustic Italian dominates the menu at this Uptown spot.

For more about what's going on this week, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the West Town category from February 2009.

West Town: January 2009 is the previous archive.

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