darkroom

Bar / Live Music Venue / Lounge
darkroom 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. Chicago United States 41.89593 -87.682585
3.0 4
darkroom - Bar | Live Music Venue | Lounge in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

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

  • Hours:

    Th–F 9pm–2am, Sa–Su 9pm–3am (hours can vary slightly)

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth darkroom Review

The Scene

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.

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.

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Tip from Emma:

For something a little different, darkroom hosts Pop-Up Dinners on the 4th Tuesday of every month for about 40 people. They announce the details on the 1st Tuesday of the month so make sure you check out their website and snag your tickets before it’s too late!

  • Crowd

    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.

  • Entertainment / Music

    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.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $5–$15 after 11pm. Beer $4–$6, wine $7, mixed drinks $6–$8, shots $5–$7.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    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.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Fridays and Saturdays for the biggest crowd.

  • Close By

    Mr. Brown’s Lounge (2301 West Chicago Avenue) is a reggae-inspired venue with authentic Jamaican cuisine and frequent Red Stripe specials.

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