A rough guide to Halloween clubbing, partying and bar specials.
By Michael Leyden and Josh Ferguson|
Friday 22 Bonanza Halloween Sale and Vintage Store Berlin. Oct 22, 5–11pm; Oct 23, 4–11pm; Oct 24, 2–8pm. Featuring the Sometimes Store, Polly Golightly, the Gaudy God, the Puterbaugh Sisterz, Hot Temper Hot Sauce, & more. Cosmix DJ Greg Haus and Twisted DJ Chester.
Saturday 23 Pre-Halloween Fashion Show enclave. Oct 23. R.S.V.P. for free admission before 11pm. Hustler Lingerie along with Global Adrenaline & Another Level present the Pre-Halloween Fashion Show with models showing off this year’s sexiest costumes.
Thursday 28 The Greatest Show on Earth The Underground. 10pm, $20. It’s an under the big top Halloween at Underground. Featuring four nights of circus antics—the longest running freakshow all weekend—the posh basement bunker is full of cotton candy, killer clowns, tigers and acrobats worthy of the flying trapeze. And that’s before the DJs even get started. Look out for sets from DJs Vice (Thursday), Rock City (Friday), Kane (Saturday), Cobra (Sunday) and residents all weekend long.
Stardust: Massaquarade Berlin. 10pm, $7. The CULT promoters score the Stardust Halloween and bring in electro lovers Midnight Conspiracy and psychedelic dance-troupe-meets-singer-songwriter act Pure Magical Love to join residents Teen Witch and Baby Bamboo. Nightlife theatrical performer and Boom Boom Room staple JoJo Baby hosts and screens a preview of JoJo Baby, a Clive Barker–produced film about his unique world.
Friday 29 FREEBlack I Ball Crimson Lounge. 10pm. With its red velvet and Victorian confines, Crimson Lounge keeps it classy for Halloween. Picking up the torch as the venue for the tenth annual Black I Ball, this morbid masquerade for the masked and the macabre is helmed by DJ Lego spinning jazz, Latin and house.
Branded: Jackmatic Martini Ranch. 10pm; $5, email@example.com. Swing Shift comes to your rescue each week with its budget-friendly house night—helmed by quality beat lover J-Dub with guests such as Gene Farris and Mark Grant lined up regularly. Halloween weekend sees a Medusa reunion with DJs Pyscho Bitch, Gene Farris and John Curley.
Dance with the Devil enclave. 10pm; $20, in advance $10 at enclavechicago.com. Though a mostly Top 40 venue, enclave takes a cue from the mega clubs of Cancun, Las Vegas and the like, bringing on a euphoric trance soundtrack headed up by a mysterious headdress-adorned Aztec warrior. He’s painted silver, shoots lasers out of his feathers and fingers, and is sure to command the attention of the throngs of costumed revelers. This is rave taken to the circus and for the right constitution could be a hilariously interesting time.
FREEDark Sounds Lucky Number Grill. 10pm. This low-key bar’s second-floor loft is perfect for some off-the-grid DJ throwdowns. Keeping it loud and dirty, the Secret Society of DJs moves bodies as Peter Propaganda spins industrial, electro and new wave with patent-leather-clad goth chicks doing the go-go dancer thing as an added bonus.
Electro Dance Halloween Congress Theater. 8pm; $20, ladies free all night. 17 and up. Big room Latin DJ sensations Martin Parra, Karlos Elizondo and Ramiro Puente get Congress raving with a mix of trance, hard house and progressive.
Fetish Night Y Bar. 10pm, $20. Things get kinky at Y Bar when Erynn Ann Archy, Feli Fury, Ammunition, Miss Pussykatt and Torch break out the whips, chains, fuel and matches. DJ Billy the Kid does his best to heat up on the dance floor when Ammunition isn’t blowing her signature fire balls.
The Greatest Show on Earth 10pm. See Thu 28.
Heroes vs Villains LaSalle Power Co. 8pm, $25. Superman and Lex Luthor, Batman and the Joker: These classic opposing forces clash all Halloween weekend. So long as everyone straps on their capes and masks to play along, that is. Either way, local indie rockers North Shore Pharmacy (formerly Breakers Broken) join AK resident DJ Trentino on Friday. Saturday increasingly prominent indie electro act Na Palm is joined by househead Ryan Pullano, DJ EV, MGK and Xplosive.
Hollyween Crescendo. 10pm, $20. Crescendo does it like Frankie and goes to Hollywood this Halloween weekend. Doll yourself up as your favorite star or starlet from the past or present and strut your stuff on the dance floor to beats from Greg Bauer, Funky Couture and Jernell Geronimo.
Hotel Hitchcock Vertigo Sky. 5pm, $40. It’s about time somebody turned to a master to help up the scare factor on Halloween. The Dana Hotel and Vertigo Sky Lounge look to none other than the king of psychological thrillers, Alfred Hitchcock, morphing the hotel into the Bates Motel for a weekend of haunted hallways, high-speed elevator rides, murders and, most definitely, mayhem. Outfit Events’ Dante the Don kicks out the beats in the lounge.
The House That Jack Built Neo. 10pm; $10, before midnight $5, free before 11pm. One of Chicago’s storied club institutions, Neo breaks from its gothic tendencies, giving househeads young and old something to get excited about. Local DJs who need little introduction, Farley Jackmaster Funk and Jesse De Le Pena are joined by Kstarke Records owner Kevin Starke.
Naked: Leather and Lace Halloween Party Sound-Bar. 10pm; $20, R.S.V.P. through sound-bar.com for discount admission before midnight. Costumes are encouraged—especially skimpy leather and lace numbers, we’ve heard—with some portion of $5,000 being divvied up among the best. This being River North, skin will be in. NOR DJs, Dannyboy, Victor R, DJ Tecknique and Billy the Kid keep the house, techno, Eurobeats and hip-hop blazing on both levels.
Nocturna Metro. Midnight; $16, without costume $19. 18 and up. Nocturna’s queen of the damned, Scary Lady Sarah, touches down from Berlin for another installment of her annual All Hallows Eve dance party. Taking over the big room at Metro, she drops goth, industrial, EBM, dark wave and postpunk to bring your feet back from the dead.
North vs South: Night of the Dead Logan Square Auditorium. 9pm; $15, in advance $10. Two DJ collectives from each side of the Chicago River go head-to-head as Ghetto Division reps for the South Side and Midnight Rockers the North. Rappers BBU perform live, as does Hollywood Holt.
FREESpandexxxBeauty Bar. 9pm. The lovely and talented ladies of Moneypenny continue to entice us into their realm of lascivious boogie behavior with Spandexxx. The official Halloween edition sees DJ sets from Moneypenny and TOC’s resident nightlife expert Mister Joshua as well as a live perfromance Gotham City’s Penguin Prison. Centered on Chris Glover, Penguin Prison is equal parts pop, hip-hop and new wave, basically a quintessential contemporary indie-dance act a la Miike Snow or Chromeo (though much less ‘80s). Local indie dance outfit Hey Champ also chimes in with a live set.
VooDoo NightLumen. Oct 29, 9pm–2am. DJs John Bonini, Raoule Hilton, Browntown, Joe Fresco, Bez, Beat Tech, and AJ Dubyou spin. Also included are body-painted models and artists, the 773VIP Voodoo Dolls, hoop performance, conga drummers, go-go dancers, a fire artist, costume contest, and a hosted vodka bar from 9–10pm.
X-ecutioner’s Ball: Paul Van Dyk Vision. 10pm; $30, reduced admission at visionnightclub.com. Housed in what might as well be a castle in party-central River North, Vision gets a haunting treatment this Halloween weekend, with an appearance from Grammy-nominated DJ Paul Van Dyk. Dance music has come a long way since PvD stepped onto the scene in the early ’90s, but that hasn’t stopped him from remaining on DJ top-ten lists since he was first crowned No. 1 in ’98. Residents RJ Pickens and Zizala open.
Saturday 30 Anti-Halloween Hub 51. 10pm, table reservations required, make at sub51.com. Hub 51 takes the anti approach for all of you who have nightmares about dressing up. This is a come-as-you-are affair with a performance from rising rap sensation Christian Rich and resident turntable wizard DJ Konsept.
Avatar Le Passage. 10pm, $20. The jungle planet Pandora from the James Cameron epic Avatar gets a more intimate realization in this posh Gold Coast club. Models done up as the native Na’vi roam and show off their paint jobs in dancing cages (classy). DJ Jem spins a soundtrack of hits to get those extraterrestrial tails wagging.
FREEDecadence: A Studio 54 HalloweenJuicy Wine Company. 10pm. The godlike LA*Jesus and Jyl Fehrenkamp and Jennifer Boeder, a.k.a. the Fabulous Ladies of Fitness, invite you to don your dancing shoes (provided they’re part of your costume) and head to Juicy for a mirror-ball-worthy Halloween. The sweatband-clad record slingers spin ’80s and ’90s throwbacks as well as vintage hip-hop, house and a whole host of guilty pleasures.
FREEDevils & KingsAngels & Kings. 9pm. The angels at Angels & Kings fall from grace for one night only, thanks to a sinful soundtrack of rock and electro from Willy Joy and Team Bayside High who bring the raging antics of Rehab to River North for Halloween.
Eyes Wide Shut Lumen. 8pm; $55, open bar from 8pm to 1:30am. The sleek, steely confines of this Fulton Market lounge get a steamy Halloween treatment, covering the place in vintage rugs, candelabras and elaborate floral bouquets. A harem of Chicago’s leading burlesque performers roams the space while Kubrick’s cult flick is screened. At midnight, they take over the spotlight for a performance of their own.
Fang Banger’s Ball: Frankie Knuckles Crimson Lounge. 10pm, $20. “Godfather of House” Frankie Knuckles is known as the DJ who brought the sounds of Manhattan’s underground to Chicago’s Warehouse club in 1977. Tonight, the legend conjures the ghosts of discos past for this Halloween ball. It may be a night dedicated to the undead, but you should still head out and support this man in the flesh.
Freaky Deaky 2: Chromeo + A-Trak + Kid Sister + Theophilius LondonCongress Theater. 7:30pm, $35. This hipster Halloween bash returns and this time it’s a family affair. Dance aficionados Chromeo get down in support of their new album with support from lil’ bro (and Kanye West DJ) A-Trak and his girlfriend, Chicago darling Kid Sister. Hotly tipped rapper Theophilius London also performs. Prior to the main event, Midnight Conspiracy, Zebo, Alex Zelenka, Gun Love, Mettle, Kool Hersh and the Wolf Pack take turns getting the crowd riled up.
The Greatest Show on Earth 10pm. See Thu 28.
Gypsy Curse Halloween Ball Alhambra Palace. 9pm; $25, in advance $20 at palacechicago.com. Located inside Alhambra Palace, Chicago’s newest nightspot, Palace, isn’t a Halloween mirage. But this fright night is your first chance to see the renovated club along with Gypsy eye candy courtesy of Atlantis Gentlemen’s Club. DJs Psycho Bitch, Billy the Kid and Gus Karas boom out the house beats across three floors and a souped-up sound system.
Halloween Costume Ball The Griffin Lounge. 9pm, $20. Residents Nathan Scott and John Curley supply a properly spooky progressive and house soundtrack to Griffin’s annual Halloween bash.
Halloween at MarketMarket. Oct 30, 8–midnight. $45 open bar. Costume contests, passed appetizers, complimentary next-day brunch entre.
Halloween House of Horrors enclave. 10:30pm, $35. Morphing this super lounge into an 8,000-square-foot haunted house for the weekend, enclave on Saturday is all about the devilish delights with a premium open bar for early ticket buyers.
Halloween JamSmart Bar. Oct 30 at 10pm; $12 with costume, $15 without costume. DJ Sneak and Paul Johnson.
Haunted BlockCrescendo. Oct 30. Tony Macey’s 14th annual Halloween party.
Haunted House of Winehouse Halloween PartyHouse of Blues. Oct 30 at 9:30pm. $10 in advance, $13 day of. Amy Winehouse and the Pinups perform on the Back Porch Stage.
Haunted Hotel Ball Palmer House Hilton. 8pm; $30, VIP $50. Global Adrenaline haunts the Palmer House with the help of rising star vocalist Mia Martina and DJs Mixin Marc, Nathan Scott, Rock City, Jerzy, Gus Karas, Danny Boy and Dustin Sheridan.
Heroes vs Villains 8pm. See Fri 29.
Hollywood Horror V Live. 10pm; $20, free with R.S.V.P. at hollywoodhorror.eventbrite.com. For this one, you won’t score any points for showing up with your date as Brangelina. VLive’s Halloween is looking for twists on classic Hollywood haunters like Freddy, Jason and Vlad the Impaler. Speaking of impaling, DJs Danny Boy, Louie Loop and Caffeine kill it from the DJ booth.
Hotel Hitchcock 5pm. See Fri 29.
14th Annual Halloween BashDouble Door. Oct 30 at 9pm. $12–$20. Cover bands perform as Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Joan Jett, Husker Du and the Cars.
Monster Mash Dance Party Hideout. 11:30pm, $5. The A-Team DJs, a.k.a. Mitch Cocanig of the Umbrella Music Group and local painter Andrea Jablonski, are behind the ones and twos for this retro Halloween dance party. In proper Hideout fashion, the duo drops their best funk, soul, rock and generaly dusty nuggets on the back alley bar’s discerning dance floor.
Naked: Leather and Lace Halloween Party 10pm. See Fri 29.
Rockstars & Groupies Hard Rock Cafe. 10pm, $25. Lifestyle clothiers and promoters Another Level go the star-studded Billboard route for Halloween, adopting a band members and band-aids theme, meaning you should dig deeper than Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jay-Z, Kanye West or their groupies if your costume is going to make an impression here. PDA, Criz R, DJ KO, Binettie and Mareech spin house, hip-hop and mash-ups on the mainstage with percussion from Bam Bam Buddha and video mixing from Kopo.
Team Karaoke Dance Party Beauty Bar. 9pm; $3, free with R.S.V.P. to chicagoRSVP@thebeautybar.com. This is disco fever without the bell bottoms and polyester (unless you chose a Studio 54 theme for your Halloween costume). Kid Color is one of the hardest-working DJs around, able-bodied enough to fit right in everywhere from Rehab to Smart Bar. His blend of classic disco, electro house and cosmic jams is right up our alley. Codebreaker, from Milwaukee, follows a similar path, and for this appearance he’s doing it live. His music adds a bit of indie edge to his disco jams; think NYC’s Escort and you’ve got the right idea.
Dark Night in BridgeportCo-Prosperity Sphere. 7pm. $5 after 9pm. The annual art party freak out from the Lumpen gang features pumpkin ales, art kids in costume, a Halloween art exposition, DJ+J+J and Hunter Husar, plus live electronic dance music.
Tony Macey’s Haunted BlockY Bar/Crescendo. 10pm, $5. Party thrower extraordinaire to the beautiful people Tony Macey holds his 14th annual Halloween event. Starts at Y Bar and moves to Crescendo for late night action.
Sunday 31 Beauty and the BeastLe Passage. Oct 31 at 9pm. $5 before 10:30pm, $10 after. Lesbian Halloween party with DJ Bamn and DJ Rhated R spinning and a cash costume contest. Plus free Patron shots at midnight.
Bloody SundayROOF. Oct 31, 8pm–midnight. $20. Kiss-FM 103.5 hosts an interactive murder-mystery game. The winners are entered in a $1,000 raffle.
Crawl With the CreepsMcGee’s, Durkin’s, Duffy’s, Maeve, Wrightwood Tap and Redmond’s. Oct 31, 7–10pm. $20. Halloween pub crawl with huge buffet at each bar, domestic drafts, witches brew and trolley rides between bars. Start at any bar, and move on to the others at any time.
Dead on Division BashThe Original Mother’s, The Lodge, Bootleggers, Mother’s Too, Shenannigans and The Hangge-Uppe. Oct 31. Six-bar Halloween party featuring a costume contest, KISS tribute band, psychics, zombies, jugglers and drink specials.
Die Tonight: Halloween Hell House Beauty Bar. 10pm; $5, free with costume. It may seem incongruous with the decor, but obviously the electro sounds are a runaway success at Beauty Bar, because more and more nights keep popping up. The cream of the crop in the city joins forces for this one. For this haunted edition, Les Trois Stooges join residents Dark Wave Disco, Midnight Conspiracy and Heaven Malone. Photos by Glitter Guts.
Dollar Disco: Paradise Graveyard Smart Bar. 10pm; $2, free with industry checkstub. Chicago’s latest batch of disco infiltrators throws this party weekly, catering to a new breed of dance-music enthusiasts. Residents Kid Color and Michael Serafini pump out the disco-themed goodness with a side of house. Cursed to fall on Halloween, Dollar Disco expands its fright night lineup to include the spoiled indie dance trio Only Children and polysexual DJ team Chances Dances.
Fright ClubMetro & Smart Bar. Oct 31 at 9pm. $8, with student ID $6. All-building event features Masquerager at Metro and Paradise Graveyard at Smart Bar.
The Greatest Show on Earth 10pm. See Thu 28.
Halloween Bash with GhostfaceAbbey Pub. Oct 31 at 8:30pm. $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Halloween party and performances by Ghostface Killah, Sheek Louch, Frank Dukes, Psalm One, Verbal Kent and DJ Demchuk.
Have Faith in Scary Propaganda Lucky Number Grill. 9pm, $6. L.A. rocker William Faith of Faith and the Muse joins Scary Lady Sarah and Peter Propaganda for a gothic Halloween of industrial and dark wave.
FREEMr. 666 The Whistler. 9:30pm. These guys may directly nod to Lucifer in their name, but they borrow a hell of a lot more from Goblin. Mimicking the Italo soundtrack icons, Mr. 666 is all cosmic synths and spooky sound effects. Upping the acid-trip factor, the duo has a steady stream of seemingly disparate video footage accompanying its performances.
FREENew Wave Halloween Dance PartyCrocodile. 8pm. Dedicated the music to Chicago’s ’80s and ’90s new wave scene, Jesse De La Pena and guests Hugo Mercado and Trancid spin industrial, alternative, goth, punk and ska, the likes of which were heard back in the ay at places like Medusa’s, Club Naked, Newo and more.
Playboy’s Mansion MadnessCrimson Lounge. 10pm, $25. After two nights dedicated to the bloody and the dead, Crimson Lounge adopts a less morbid theme for Halloween proper, and it’s one fit for the silk-robed Hugh Hefner himself. Playmate of the year from 2003, Christina Santiago, joins fellow bunny Jordan Monroe for a night that’s sure to get the blood flowing after a weekend of pretending to be something dead.
Rock & Roll Reform School Halloween DanceDelilah’s. Oct 31. DJ Michael Meyers spins for this Halloween party. Screening of Nosferatu the Vampire, directed by Werner Herzog, at 6pm.
Sinful Spy Bar. 10pm; $10, free before midnight with costume. DJ Mauricio transforms his Latin-centric Sunday night Spy Bar party into a den of the flesh for Halloween.
The Tubes at ReggiesReggies. Oct 31 at 7pm. $20. The Tubes perform with Moist Guitars, Springa Sonic Droogs and Ain’t No Er Like a Stripper. Costume contest with cash prizes.
4eme Annisersaire Maison des mortsDebonair Social Club. 11pm, $TBA. Wicker Park electro rocker central, Debonair, celebrates Halloween and four years of partying with a cover band featuring Greg and Jonny of Kill Hannah, Scott of Local H, Derek of Alkaline Trio with guest performers; Larry of Peg Boy, Herb of Liars Club/ Beer Nuts, Joe of the Handsome Devilz and burlesque performer Lady Jack. Team Bayside High and Andrew Ironfist spin the bangers.
Halloween bar specials
Benchmark Four Corners Tavern Group (which owns Schoolyard, Kirkwood, Gaslight and others) has taken things up a notch at its latest, a stylish sports bar in Old Town. A cut-out roof brings sunlight from the roof deck down to an airy first floor, which buzzes with young money and the occasional skillet cookie. On Saturday, Benchmark hosts A Scare for the Cure, a night of costume contests and unlimited food, beer, wine and Red Bull that benefits the Lynn Sage Foundations. Advance tickets ($100) are available at benchmarkchicago.com.1510 N Wells St, Old Town (312-649-9640). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Sedgwick; Red to Clark/Division. Bus: 22, 72. Mon–Fri 5pm–2am; Sat 11am–3am; Sun 11am–2am. Average cocktail: $6.
Brownstone Sure, the Tiffany-style light fixtures and Victorian-era decor are classy, and the drinks are just fine. But the real reason to keep coming back here—despite the weekend crowds of former frat bros and their penchant for Def Leppard—is the sugar-coma–inducing cookie skillet. On Saturday, a $30 ticket (available in advance at brownstonetavern.com) buys well cocktails, domestic drafts and “wicked witches brew” all night long.3937 N Lincoln Ave, Roscoe Village (773-528-3700). El: Brown to Irving Park. Bus: 11, 50, 80. Mon–Thu 5pm–2am; Fri, Sun 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am. Average beer: $4.
Cans Cheap beer fast. What’s not to like about that? As its name suggests, Cans serves canned beer, nearly three dozen varieties. If Greek (aka frat talk) ain’t your speak, the pool table and the ’80s soundtrack are draws. On Thursday, Cans holds its fourth annual pumpkin carving beginning at 4pm. The bar will supply pumpkins and supplies; you buy the $6 Pumpkin-tinis.1640 N Damen Ave , Bucktown (773-227-2277). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. Mon–Fri 4pm–2am; Sat 10am–3am; Sun 10am–2am. Average beer: $5.
Doré Lounge Doré Lounge is not a bar. It’s an “exclusive boutique lounge,” with a gold-hued, Victorian-inspired interior, complete with chaise lounges and mirrors. And it’s celebrating its first Halloween with an 1850s-themed Gold Rush party on Friday, followed by a Greek Gilded Goddess bash on Saturday. Admission is $20 at the door or a group purchase of a bottle-service package ($600–1100).23 W Hubbard St, River North (312-661-1230). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart; Red to Grand. Bus: 22, 29, 36. Tue 9pm–2am; Fri 9pm–2am; Sat 9pm–3am. Average cocktail: $11.
Edge Trying to bring something different to the Division Street bar lineup, this loungey, black and amber–hued, multi-windowed bar has its merits: The varied beer selection and frou-frou cocktail list should appease most drinkers. No-cover Halloween festivities commence Friday with a True Blood-themed party (vampire costumes recommended), then turn to a Dia de los Muertos celebration Saturday (prize for the most elaborate and festive face paint) and a Mad Hatter Social Sunday (suggested dress: “goth, rock, lolita, vampire, ghoul, or witch).1700 W Division St, Wicker Park (773-227-3100). El: Blue to Division. Bus: 9, 56, 70. Tue–Fri 4pm–2am; Sat 4pm–3am. Average cocktail: $9.
English With high-top tables and a bar that runs the length of the room, this Britishish spot is putting its pounds on the pub scene. New and old come together on both the cocktail list and the menu: Drinks include a traditional Pimm’s Cup, and the Newcastle-battered cod is crispy, fat and flaky. It’s Saints and Sinners weekend in honor of Halloween, which means costumed staffers, guest DJs, table reservations ($25 Friday, $30 Saturday) and an exhortation to “Dress to impress.”444 N LaSalle St, River North (312-222-6200). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart. Bus: 65, 125, 156. Mon–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am; Sun 11am–2am. Average beer: $5.
J Bar Two slick rooms awash in shiny mirrored tile and video art and a clientele of only the richest, prettiest Chicagoans. No wonder this spot is in the James Hotel; the place is so packed you’re going to have to stay overnight to get a seat. Bear your fangs: Vampires are the theme at the no-cover party on Saturday from 8pm–3am, where YES vodka cocktails are $7.610 N Rush St, Gold Coast (312-660-7200). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 36, 125, 151. Wed–Fri 6pm–2am; Sat 8pm–3am . Average cocktail: $9.
Kit Kat Lounge If you don’t know who Marilyn and Joan are, don’t bother. This slick nightspot only gets campier with age, so prepare to be entertained by black-and-white Hollywood glamour movies and performances by female impersonators of Hollywood icons. True Blood fans, get ready for a two-night, no-cover cocktail party (Saturday and Sunday 5:30pm–2am) with costume contests at midnight both nights.3700 N Halsted St, Lakeview (773-525-1111). El: Red to Addison. Bus: 8, 36, 152. Tue–Sun 5:30pm–2am. Average cocktail: $10.
LaSalle Power Co. This tri-level River North bar sports a movie-theater-size screen for sports-bar seekers, a crowd of dressed-up young things for thrill-seekers, and food that’s way better than it has to be, for, well, the rest of us. Heroes and Villains is the tagline for a weekend of live music and DJs: Visit fanfueled.com for tickets ($25+ for Friday, $30+ for Saturday).500 N LaSalle Blvd, River North (312-661-1122). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart; Red to Grand. Bus: 22, 65, 156. Wed–Fri 4pm–2am; Sat 10:30am–3am; Sun 10:30am–2am. Average cocktail: $8.
Late Bar Rockabilly couples swing to live DJs while black-and-white movies and other oddities play on a projector at this violet-hued lounge. Avondale ’hoodies keep the place busy on weeknights, but the real action’s on Saturday’s Planet Earth dance party. Thursday is Batcave Night (DJ Dave Roberts spinning death rock, classic goth and glam); classic 60s horror flicks will screen on Friday; and Saturday, DJ Dave Roberts rings in a New Wave Halloween. “Neighborhood psychic” Gina will be available all week for Tarot card and palm readings.3534 W Belmont Ave at Drake Ave (773-267-5283). El: Blue to Belmont. Bus: 56, 77, 82. Tue–Fri 9pm–4am; Sat 9pm–5am (closed Sun, Mon). Average cocktail: $7.
Luxbar Take note: When this Gibsons offshoot calls itself “Lux,” it means it in an old-school way. Both the food and space seem to be imported from a simpler era, with dishes like luscious filet mignon “sliders” and crispy, juicy fried chicken. For a clubbier take, check out the upstairs LuxLounge, where on Saturday, revelers are encouraged to dress as their favorite nasty character from history, television or film. Winner of the costume contest (held at midnight) scores a $250 Luxbar cocktail party.18 E Bellevue Pl, Gold Coast (312-642-3400). El: Red to Clark/Division. Bus: 22, 36, 70. Mon–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 8am–3am; Sun 8am–2am. Average cocktail: $11.
Market Half-clothed waitresses, expanses of outdoor seating—this multilevel madhouse is as close to South Beach as you’re going to get in the West Loop, heavy-hitting crowds included. A four-hour open bar Saturday night promises one wasted Halloween, and the ticket price ($45 in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org, $50 at the door) also includes brunch the following day.1113 W Randolph St , West Loop (312-929-4787). Bus: 8, 20. Sun–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am. Average cocktail: $8.
Nacional 27 DJs spinning and customers dancing in the dining room may not be for everyone, but if you’re into that, you’re in for a treat with this pan-Latin restaurant’s food, much of which is built for groups. Shared plates are all well and good, but as for the mojitos—you’ll want one (or three) of your own. For a $10 cover on Saturday, sip Bloody Marias ($10, tinged with housemade hot sauce and a mescal float), hit the dance floor for salsa music from 11pm–3am, and dress your best: The first-place costume wins a cocktail party for 27 people.325 W Huron St, River North (312-664-2727). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Chicago. Bus: 66. Mon–Thu 5–9:30pm; Fri 4pm–2am; Sat 4pm–3am (closed Sun). Average main course: $19.
People Lounge Wicker Park’s tapas lounge keeps things buzzing with DJs spinning salsa on the weekends and surprisingly good tapas during the week. Welcome Halloween on Saturday with $4 Dead Guy Ale drafts, $5 Jager bombs and a $100 gift certificate for the top costume at midnight.1560 N Milwaukee Ave, Wicker Park (773-227-9339). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. Sun–Fri 5pm–2am; Sat 5pm–3am . Average glass of sangria: $7.
Rebar True, there is a nice view of the Chicago River from this second-story lounge in the Trump Tower. But sometimes a view isn’t enough to offset incredibly pricey drinks. Luckily, those cocktails are so delicious that they help erase the sticker shock and the crowd. Friday through Sunday, toast the spirits with a Dra-Kahlua ($15) cocktail and some “spooky sushi.”401 N Wabash Ave, Gold Coast (312-588-8034). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 29, 36, 65. Sun–Wed 4pm–midnight; Thu, Fri 4pm–1am; Sat 1pm–1am. Average cocktail: $15.
ROOF TheWit Hotel’s swank rooftop lounge sports a specialty cocktail menu, a well-curated wine list and Mediterranean small plates, but it’s the breezy terrace-with-a-view that draws crowds, all ready to throw elbows to score tables per the seat-yourself policy. Friday and Saturday beginning at 9pm, beware the Terror on the ROOF (It’s just DJs; so don’t actually be scared), or play the Bloody Sunday murder-mystery game to win $1,000 on Sunday.201 N State St, 27th floor, Loop (312-239-9501). El: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to State. Mon–Thu 3pm–2am; Fri 1pm–2am; Sat 1pm–3am; Sun 1pm–midnight. Average cocktail: $12.
Sheffield’s This huge beer garden turns into a laid-back college reunion on weekend nights in summer, but we like it in colder months, when the attention turns to the more sophisticated picks on the beer list and the slabs of ribs that go a long way toward warming the belly. Stop by for pumpkin carving Thursday at 6pm in the beer garden. Beer and barbecue specials should keep you there until midnight, when the favorite jack-o-lanterns will light up the bar.3258 N Sheffield Ave, Lakeview (773-281-4989). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs), Red to Belmont. Bus: 8, 22, 77. Sun–Fri 11am–2am; Sat 11am–3am. Average beer: $4.
The Southern As Chaise Lounge, it was the faux–Miami Beach vibe that drove scene-seekers here. Now as the Southern, it’s chef Cary Taylor’s Southern bar food. Fluffy hush puppies are paired with smoky trout dip, corn-bread salad is topped with fried Vidalia onions, and thin johnnycakes are served with pulled pork that drips in cider and juices. Get ready for the Nightmare on North Ave Thursday–Sunday, when the bar will serve Witch’s Brew cocktails ($4) and punch bowls ($35) to the tune of DJs and costume contests.1840 W North Ave, Wicker Park (773-342-1840). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72. Brunch (Sun), dinner (Tue–Sun). Average main course: $20.
The Tasting Room Out of the way? Yeah. Still a great wine bar? For sure. You’d be hard-pressed to find another wine bar with a better list. And even harder-pressed to find one with as great a view of the skyline. Come dressed as your favorite dead celebrity for the Road to Purgatory bash Saturday, where a $50 ticket includes an open champagne bar, cocktails, a DJ and hors d’oeuvres with a seven-deadly sins theme.1415 W Randolph St, West Loop (312-942-1313). El: Green, Pink to Ashland. Bus: 9. Mon–Thu 5pm–1am; Fri, Sat 5pm–2am (closed Sun). Average glass of wine: $10.
Tuman’s Okay, so it’s not the hipster shithole it used to be. But just because it’s a little shinier, a little cleaner and a little friendlier doesn’t mean this Ukie Village classic isn’t still a good clubhouse for locals looking to waste a Sunday away with some Jameson and the local news. Saturday, DJs James Dia and Dan Malloney will spin, select microbrew drafts are $3.50 and cash prizes for costumes will be doled out at 12:30am.2159 W Chicago Ave, Ukrainian Village (773-782-1400). Bus: 50, 66, 70. Mon–Thu 4pm–2am; Fri, Sun noon–2am; Sat noon–3am. Average beer: $3.
Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort If spring break is a sacred ritual, this garden-level DePaul-area bar is the unofficial altar. College students arrive in flocks for potent “fish-tanks,” beer specials and drinking games. For Halloween, the bar has spent $10,000 on decorations to transform into Terror Island 3, which entails cover bands and costume contests Friday–Sunday.2833 N Sheffield Ave, Lincoln Park (773-477-3661). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 8, 76, 77. Wed–Fri 6pm–2am; Sat 6pm–3am. Average beer: $4.