The best part of this job is definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. I knew my favorite haunts before I started reviewing, but the job introduced me to some awesome dives I had never heard of, and it forced me to try out upscale spots I wouldn’t normally go to, which are totally worth the splurge. Now I just want to go out and explore (read: drink) all the time!
I was really pumped to visit California Clipper for the first time, and it totally lived up to my expectations. We spent the first hour just sitting in a booth and listening to some great live music, then moved to the bar later on to chat with the bartender. We ended up sitting next to a bartender from another bar, Jerry’s, who talked my ear off about the Chicago bar scene. Then he bought us a round of Jameson shots, and then the Clipper bartender bought us another round. I have never felt more comfortable getting drunk with strangers in my life.
Jonah is my homeboy. Dives, intimate concerts, and microbrews are my loves. Sometimes, though, I might throw in a little Lucas (who doesn’t love pounding beers and watching football every now and again?). And my Emma side often comes out to take advantage of Chicago’s absurd weeknight drink specials.
I would start with brunch at Lula Café, then head to the Lincoln Park zoo to make faces at the monkeys, and then enjoy some live music at a neighborhood street festival. In the evening, I’d begin with a classy cocktail at The Whistler, then head to Piece for pizza and beer. For dancing I’d hit up Danny’s, or for something more chill, The California Clipper for some honky-tonk jams and old-timey cocktails.