Party Earth Review Invoking photography in both name and style, Darkroom is a cool lounge whose sultry red lighting and exposed brick sprinkled with photographs creates an atmosphere reminiscent of photo-developing studios of yesteryear... ... read full review
2210 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Blue Line: Division
Th–F 9pm–2am, Sa–Su 9pm–3am (hours can vary slightly)
Ukrainian Village, Chicago –
Invoking photography in both name and style, Darkroom is a cool lounge whose sultry red lighting and exposed brick sprinkled with photographs creates an atmosphere reminiscent of photo-developing studios of yesteryear.
Built around the idea that a bar should do more than just serve drinks, the lounge/gallery is also quite literally built around the four-sided bar at its center, providing 360-degree access for its hip and laid-back patrons to drop in from any part of the open dance floor.
The venue’s theme is echoed in the vintage photos inlaid in the bar’s counter, which also provides plenty of space for the early-eventing crowd of flannel-wearing regulars to lay their fedoras.
Roomy black vinyl booths fitted with candles and velvet curtains attract groups of skinny-jean types looking to kill a few $3 PBRs, while a slightly elevated area offers cozy leather seats and its own fireplace.
Fairly low key early on, the energy picks up later when a diverse crowd of Rastafarians and twenty-somethings in sweater vests take to the dance floor to groove to the DJ’s mix of house, disco, or jazz – or to the occasional live band – as a small movie screen flashes Japanese anime overhead.
While a small outdoor patio provides relief from the crowd, most of the sweaty revelers choose to return to the music, the art, and the dark darkroom inside.
Depends on music or event, but usually attractive, well-dressed, and trendy hipsters, reggae lovers, artsy types, and grad students, mid-20s to mid-30s.
DJs spinning mostly contemporary jazz, reggae, house, hip-hop, and disco. Occasional live performances by local bands. Movie screen showing Japanese animation. Rotating display of local photography and art. Check calendar for special events.
Cover charge $5–$15 after 11pm. Beer $4–$6, wine $7, mixed drinks $6–$8, shots $5–$7.
Depends on music, but usually nice casual to hipster trendy: heels or flats, comfortable dresses, knit scarves, button-downs, newsboy hats, sweater vests and ties.
Fridays and Saturdays for the biggest crowd.
Mr. Brown’s Lounge (2301 West Chicago Avenue) is a reggae-inspired venue with authentic Jamaican cuisine and frequent Red Stripe specials.