Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right Bottom Lounge

Bottom Lounge

Bars, Lounges Downtown
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Photograph: Courtesy of Bottom Lounge Bottom Lounge, main room and bar

Good things do come from CTA construction: Forced from its former Belmont plot, the Bottom Lounge has been reborn in the West Loop, and it’s swank. So impressively large is this live music venue that lounge seems totally inappropriate as a part of the name. The bar feels like a rocker hangout that thrives regardless of what is happening in the live room, which (with its own absinthe-serving bar) is well proportioned. Slicker, louder indie acts tend to pop in. Kitschy bonus: Upstairs sits the tiki-themed Volcano Room.


Venue name: Bottom Lounge
Address: 1375 W Lake St
Cross street: between Ada St and Ogden Ave
Opening hours: Sun, Wed, Thu 5pm–2am; Fri 11:30am–1am; Sat 11am–2:30am
Transport: El lines: Green, Pink to Ashland. Bus: 9, 20.
Price: Average beer: $6
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
0 people listening

When you first walk into the bar, it feels like a rocker bar. There are two pinball machines, and they also serve food. Inside the venue towards the back on the left, it's quite spacious. There is a separate bar inside the venue which is key. The only problem I have is when you're farther back, it's hard to see the performers. However, the sound itself is great here. 

The Bottom Lounge is a no-frills rock club, and they don't pretend to be anything different. It's clear the owners focus their resources on the aspects of a venue that make a great show memorable. The black box decor and open room layout may not be flashy, but the sound quality, sight lines and alcohol selection/prices all leave you walking away with a positive experience, every time. It's just small enough to be intimate, with no barricades and just as great of a view from the back of the room, but big enough that artists can vibe off the crowd no problem. 

It's also small enough that plenty of acts hang around and greet fans after the set, only pausing whenever the el rushes by overhead. The location is easily accessible via el train, and during the shows patrons over 21 can leave the music room and hang out in the bar in front if they'd prefer to skip an opener. It's not my favorite music venue in Chicago, but certainly up there in the top three. 


This is one of the better small music venues I have been to in the city. when you walk through the doors to the left of the bar, you are at first surprised how big the venue is. The best part is that there is a bar located in the venue so you don't have to live the venue room to get a drink. The sound is phenomenal. There is no other way to put it, they now what they're doing there. The show I saw went from a psychedelic blues band focused heavily on the guitars, to an acoustic guitar, raspy voice folk singer and the transition was flawless. The staff  was helpful to people in the crowd but not too controlling, and even though there is no seating, when asked...the would bring out folding chairs for people who needed it. As most small venues can get pretty hot when everyone packs in, I was shocked to feel the AC kick in....this won me over.