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|
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?|
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
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.