The Cubby Bear

Live Music Venue / Sports Bar
The Cubby Bear Mere steps from Wrigley Field and consisting of thirty thousand square feet of drinking and music, The Cubby Bear is a monolithic sports bar dedicated to Cubs fanaticism and live performances ranging from reggae to Grateful... Chicago United States 41.947184 -87.656827
3.2 8
The Cubby Bear - Live Music Venue | Sports Bar in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Mere steps from Wrigley Field and consisting of thirty thousand square feet of drinking and music, The Cubby Bear is a monolithic sports bar dedicated to Cubs fanaticism and live performances ranging from reggae to Grateful... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Red Line: Addison; Brown Line: Southport

  • Phone:

    773-327-1662

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Winter: M–Th 4pm–2am, F, Su 11am–2am, Sa 11am–3am
    Summer: M–F, Su 11am–2am or 10am–2am on game days, Sa 11am–3am or 9am–3am on game days

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Cubby Bear Review

The Scene

Mere steps from Wrigley Field and consisting of thirty thousand square feet of drinking and music, The Cubby Bear is a monolithic sports bar dedicated to Cubs fanaticism and live performances ranging from reggae to Grateful...

Mere steps from Wrigley Field and consisting of thirty thousand square feet of drinking and music, The Cubby Bear is a monolithic sports bar dedicated to Cubs fanaticism and live performances ranging from reggae to Grateful Dead tribute bands.

Six long bars spread over two floors and more than seventy TVs invite pre-gamers to chill before the first pitch and then stay for the game, but at the end of the ninth, the acres of metal stools and tables in the otherwise sparse main hall get kicked aside to make room for a dance floor. Live acts or DJs typically pack the house on Friday and Saturday nights, while salsa dancing brings in a more international crowd on Sundays.

Although a smaller back room usually offers a slightly less rowdy atmosphere where college students dig into greasy bar food and young singles flirt over PBR tallboys, there’s no hiding on the universally crazy game days when hardcore Cubs fans celebrate/grieve in perfect excess, party girls dance in the middle of the room, and festive couples make out in the corner.

For a night of wild debauchery, dancing, live music – and sometimes all three – The Cubby Bear is a sure bet for sports fans and dedicated bar crawlers looking to party.

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Tip from Lucas:

Bad weather? Too cold? Get all your sports buddies together and reserve a private room to watch the game. With views of Wrigley Field, tons of TVs, and numerous party packages to suit your needs, you really can’t go wrong with a Cubs viewing party at the Cubby Bear.

  • Crowd

    Hardcore Cubs fans, fraternity and sorority types, sports fanatics, college kids, fans of the band, and young partiers, early 20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Seventy-five flat-screen TVs and five projection screens tuned to sports. Various concerts throughout the week, from local alternative groups to bigger rock acts. Salsa on Sundays with lessons at 7pm and DJ afterwards. Check website for schedule.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Bar menu including hot dogs and chicken tenders. Various party packages available for private events.

  • Prices

    Concert tickets usually $10 or less. Appetizers $5–$10, burgers and sandwiches $6–$11. Beer $5–$10, cocktails $6–$12.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: sports attire, jerseys, jeans, and sneakers, with slightly more clubby attire for salsa and certain music nights.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any game day, particularly on weekends, for a guaranteed wild scene – especially when the Cubs win – or for the crowded concerts on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Close By

    Sluggers (3540 North Clark Street) offers batting cages, arcade games, and dueling pianos.

The Cubby Bear User Reviews

Average rating:
Sunday Night Salsa Hotspot
Anna M. Mar 31, 2013
I don't know what it is about this place, but the Chicago Salsa Community has claimed the Cubby Bear for dancing Sunday nights. The floors are obnoxiously sticky and there is always a battle for a place to sit down, but the place is ALWAYS PACKED! All of the best salsa dancers make Cubby Bear their Sunday night go-to and there is never a shortage of people to dance with. I should also add that the live band always plays great music that lets you take your dancing to the next level. The evening is hosted by Latin Street, one of the major salsa dance studios of Chicago and rival to Latin Rhythms. If you are planning to add the Cubby Bear to your dancing destination list, here are some helpful tips and information 1. Get on the guest list for free/reduced admission before 9:30 PM, go on: http://www.laboriqua.com/welcome/salsasundays.asp 2. There is a FREE parking lot located right next to Cubby Bear, but it fills up quick, usually before 9:30 so make sure you get there early. It's a little tricky to get into, you have to circle around the back and enter in from W Eddy St. If the parking lot is full by the time you get there, there is some hope of finding street parking, but read the signs first so you don't get towed 3. For those of you who dance, you know that it is ALWAYS summer when you salsa, regardless of the weather outside. It gets ridiculously super hot inside, so make sure you wear something light-weight and seriously consider bringing a change of clothes so you don't subject your partners to your sweatiness. And yes, I am 100% serious about the heat. 4. Get there early and claim a table for yourself because there are very, very, very few places to sit down. Keep in mind that people will try to steal your spot/chair over the course of the evening, so make sure you put your coat/stuff on the table to mark your territory 5. There is a lesson from 7:30-9pm which usually don't start or finish when it's supposed to, depending on how many people there are present. I'm an advanced dancer so I don't go to the lesson, but it's something that I would recommend for beginners and people just learning how to dance Like any dance event that is held in a bar or restaurant, there are always going to be non-dancers and random people drinking heavily, so keep an eye out for them. Also check the calendar to make sure that there is going to be salsa that night and not something else. Regarding the crowd, there is a lot of overlap between Cubby Bear and other downtown salsa places like Alhambra and Dylan's (Tuesday and Friday/Saturday nights respectively). I definitely recommend Cubby Bear for all salsa dancers, especially intermediate/advanced ones. The floor is REALLY sticky though, so it does pose some mobility issues when you are dancing and you will have to scrape off the bottom of your shoes at the end of the night. There is an attendant in the men's and women's restrooms, which is a nice touch. About the quality and prices of the drinks, I'm not too sure because I don't drink when I'm dancing, but it's nothing high-end considering how it is a casual sports bar. I should add that the music is really, really, really loud so it's borderline impossible to have a conversation with the person next to you. Overall, I have to say that Cubby Bear is one of the last places I expected to be a salsa hotspot, but it is clear that the people who go there truly love to dance and know how to have a great time.
I know everyone who works there...
Emilie S. Y. Mar 10, 2013
...and I still wouldn't go there. If there is a concert you want to see, then by all means --- go! The sound system is terrific, the space is large, and there are plenty of bathroom options. If you are going on a date, avoid at all costs. Don't feel the need to go here as a tourist. It isn't owned by the team, and has zero history. Don't be THOSE people from Ohio would come thinking it's a cool place to say you went. Because anyone from Chicago will laugh at you. The food isn't anything to write home about; there are plenty of other tasty options on Clark Street. The beer is overpriced, the drinks are not liquor-heavy, and the shots on game days (or any day, really) come in plastic cups intended for cough syrup. Point blank --- there are plenty of other local options that will provide craft beers, a good crowd, and yummy food. Cubby Bear is only good for a concert or PRIVATE event. You don't wanna see the hot messes that show up at this place. Who wants to enjoy a meal when people are puking in garbage cans?
O, 'tis a foul thing
Craig B. Dec 11, 2012
It's a sports bar in Wrigleyville, right across from Wrigley field. What can you expect but the drunk, the drunker, and the super drunk? At least at Sluggers you can take out the aggression and hopeless anger of being a Cubs fan out on an inanimate bat and ball; at The Cubby Bear, you are simply doomed to destroy yourself. You may forgot your night, but you will never be able to get the stench out from your clothes. Even when I tried to escape to the back room, the din was just slightly muffled. The Cubby Bear is just not for me, but if you're looking for the drunkest Cubs experience, then I suppose this is definitely the place.
Sadness, sweat, and shame
Christina W. Dec 11, 2012
I hated this place. I will never return there. It was like a bastion of horrible behavior, cheap beer, and the worst singing I have ever heard in my life. (And no, it's not a karaoke bar. People just sing along to the horrible music that is playing, and it is awful.) The place is massive. It's like a warehouse. And before games, it's full of Cubs fans pre-gaming. During games, it's full of poor or unlucky Cubs fans drinking and watching the game. And after games, it is full of ALL of the drunk Cubs fans being belligerent and drunk and drinking more. It's awful. The food sucks, they don't have good beer, and everyone is loud and irritating. (I.e. they are Cubs fans.) So unless you are a Cubs fan or you are trying to "live the experience," do not, under any circumstances, go to this bar.
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