Rainbo Club

Dive Bar / Historic Bar
Rainbo Club A Chicago staple since 1936, the Rainbo Club is a cozy one-room venue popular with a creative clientele of artists, musicians, and hipsters. Chicago United States 41.902806 -87.677378
3.45 8
Rainbo Club - Dive Bar | Historic Bar in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A Chicago staple since 1936, the Rainbo Club is a cozy one-room venue popular with a creative clientele of artists, musicians, and hipsters. Ambient blues and folk music set the tone in the spare space, whose small stage... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Red Line: Clark/Division; Blue Line: Damen

  • Phone:

    773-489-5999

  • Hours:

    M–F, Su 4pm–2am, Sa 4pm–3am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Rainbo Club Review

The Scene

A Chicago staple since 1936, the Rainbo Club is a cozy one-room venue popular with a creative clientele of artists, musicians, and hipsters.

A Chicago staple since 1936, the Rainbo Club is a cozy one-room venue popular with a creative clientele of artists, musicians, and hipsters.

Ambient blues and folk music set the tone in the spare space, whose small stage – which has hosted everything from burlesque performances to dueling pianos – now showcases a rotating display of works by local artists.

Although a handful of small booths offer a place for groups of friends to chat over pitchers and $3 beers, most of the laid-back patrons are content to grab their drinks at the enclosed bar and then mill around, while a few clusters of jovial hipsters huddle around the arcade machines.

Patrons looking for their moment in the spotlight can make their way to the well-worn photo booth, and then hope to be included in the venue’s yearly calendar, a popular freebie featuring the boisterous faces of tipsy guests.

A stalwart supporter of the arts and a haven for creative types and performers, Rainbo provides a comfortable, casual, and inviting atmosphere that has cemented its place as one of Ukrainian Village’s true neighborhood bars.

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Tip from Jonah:

There are only two bathrooms here, each with just one stall. Not even the fresh-cut flowers in the ladies’ room are going to make that line any easier on busy nights.

  • Crowd

    A sophisticated mix of local artists and musicians, graduate students, art appreciators, and hipsters, late 20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient music including contemporary jazz, blues, folk rock, and oldies. Occasional DJs during the week and Sunday afternoons. Three arcade games. Photo booth, and accompanying free calendar of patrons’ photos.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Cash only. ATM on site.

  • Prices

    Beer $2–$4.50, shots $3.25–$7, mixed drinks $3.25–$4.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Hipster/grad student casual: plaid button-downs, sweaters, cardigans, embellished tank tops.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Weekend evenings for a conversational standing-room-only crowd.

  • Close By

    Jerry’s (1938 West Division Street) offers stomach-coating comfort food, perfect before heading to Rainbo Club.

Rainbo Club User Reviews

Average rating:
high hipster quotient / Not recommended for the claustrophobic
Andrew C. Oct 5, 2012
Arguably past its prime, the Rainbo Club still features good music, cheap beers and a solid photo booth. Seating is limited to a few booths and a horseshoe bar thus leaving many patrons lost amongst a sea of hipsters. Still, if you are able to score a seat you're in for a good night of people watching.
Kind of dirty, but a good time
Dave P. Oct 5, 2012
Rainbo Club has been around forever. And while that gives the place a nice historic feel right in the middle of a busy neighborhood for nightlife, it also means the bar is somewhat of a dive. However, the drinks are cheap, there's usually plenty of standing room if you can't snag one of the big booths, and the crowd is always interesting.
Photo Booth and Pinball = A+
Melissa C. Sep 13, 2012
Any bar that has a photo booth can automatically win me over but when you throw in a photo booth PLUS a pinball machine......dear God I never want to leave! I love to gamble, I love drinking, and I love pinball so pinball games for drinks is how I normally spend mine time at Rainbo. The scene is very hipster and divey but everyone is always welcome. It's never overly crowded and there is usually a spare booth open, I imagine mostly because it’s very uncomfortable to sit in skinny jeans. Beers are cheap, music is good, games and drunken photo booth pics are always fun, and if you haven't had your fill at last call there are a few 4-5am bars nearby.
Laid back Hipster Heaven, with pinball and a photo booth
Chris M. Aug 1, 2012
Rainbo Club manages to be incredibly hipster without the pretentiousness that sometimes goes along with that. You'll get your plaid and tight tshirts and skinny jeans but no one really cares if you've got your full hipster uniform because it is still a neighborhood bar. PBRs are still $3 if I remember, but they will also brew some coffee for you and make you an Irish coffee if you need a little caffeine. The doorman was at times intimidating (it has changed a few times) but the staff is all very friendly. Most nights are not too crowded and you can often get a table for your group, though weekends can get pretty crowded. I've never seen live music at Rainbo Club in my many visits, but the playlist is always great.
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