California Clipper

Bars, Cocktail bars Humboldt Park
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California Clipper
Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki
Pago Pago Shaved Ice

Brendan Sodikoff took over the ’30s-era cocktail bar last year, and it’s still wonderfully low-key with live music, a jukebox and glowing red lights—but now with better drinks. Jazz rules the calendar, with regular appearances from the likes of Nick Mazzarella and Jeremy Cunningham, but you'll also stop by for bingo and the Clipper Cabaret burlesque show each month.


Venue name: California Clipper
Address: 1002 N California Ave
Cross street: at Augusta Blvd
Opening hours: Sun–Fri 8pm–2am; Sat 8pm–3am
Transport: Bus: 52, 66, 70.
Price: Average cocktail: $5
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

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The perfect neighborhood spot. Avoid the crowds and get cozy on a Tuesday night with live music and friendly staff.


This is my new favorite place. I am so sad I didn't know about it earlier. It's super dark and David Lynch-y with cool, classic cocktails. Some nights live bands play—and I mean actual, awesome jazz bands. 


California Clipper is the perfect Humboldt Park bar. It has a sort of grungy vibe with the red dark lighting, but I am cautious to call it a dive bar as the drinks are amazing and the music is just as great. They get super packed on the weekends, but if you stop by on a weekday or a Sunday evening you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a seat.

This is one of my favorite bars to go to with friends. It's a great space, has an incredible throwback vibe. The drinks are fantastic! Make sure to try the Pago Pago Shaved Ice, they shave the ice right at the bar so it's fun to see them make the drink. They also have live music in the evenings which is a blast.