B.L.U.E.S.

30s / 40s / Affluent / Anything goes / Bar / Blues / Casual / Couples / Cover charge / Flannel Shirts / Friendly / Hipster / Intimate / Jam Packed / Jeans / Live Band / Live Music / Live Music Venue / Lively / Martinis / Mid 20s / Music Lovers / Outgoing / Post Grads / Slacks / Students / T-shirts / Valet Parking / Young Professionals / Yupster
B.L.U.E.S. Located just down the street from Kingston Mines, another famous Chicago blues joint, B.L.U.E.S. has been living true to its name since 1979, hosting live music every night. Chicago United States 41.927885 -87.648489
3.9 8
B.L.U.E.S. - Bar | Live Music Venue in Chicago.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Located just down the street from Kingston Mines, another famous Chicago blues joint, B.L.U.E.S. has been living true to its name since 1979, hosting live music every night. An intimate room decked out with string lights... ... read full review

  • Train:

    Brown, Purple Express, Red Lines: Fullerton

  • Phone:

    773-528-1012

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–F, Su 8pm–2am, Sa 8pm–3am
    Music starts at 9:30pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth B.L.U.E.S. Review

The Scene

Located just down the street from Kingston Mines, another famous Chicago blues joint, B.L.U.E.S. has been living true to its name since 1979, hosting live music every night.

Located just down the street from Kingston Mines, another famous Chicago blues joint, B.L.U.E.S. has been living true to its name since 1979, hosting live music every night.

An intimate room decked out with string lights and sad stories, the venue attracts everyone from wealthy young professionals to broke post-grads, all eager to share their love of the genre and listen to great musicians who regularly interact with the audience.

Hundreds of photographs and CD covers act as testament to the impressive number of performers who have graced the small stage over the decades, harkening back to the days when blues was a way of life in edgy Chicago.

The inclusive, welcoming atmosphere never wavers, and even on weekends – when seating is scarce and the bar is packed shoulder-to-shoulder – outgoing couples and energetic blues fans find a corner to dance in, tap their feet with martinis in hand, or strike up conversations with strangers between sets.

With a dedicated fan base and a strong emphasis on local artists, B.L.U.E.S. is the kind of music venue that clearly lives by its motto: “If you don’t have the blues when you come in, we'll make sure you have them when you leave!”

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Tip from Emma:

Sundays are best for a full night of blues music. Head to B.L.U.E.S. for the 9:30pm show, and when it’s over, just hop across the street – your cover from B.L.U.E.S. will get you into Kingston Mines for free .

  • Crowd

    Lively mix of young couples, post-grads, hipsters, Lincoln Park yuppies, older blues lovers, and friends of the band, mid-20s to 40s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live blues music nightly from 9:30pm, with bigger name bands on Fridays and Saturdays. Check the website for specific listings.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food. Validated parking with paid admission (Su–Th) at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $0–$10. Beer $5–$6, wine $5, cocktails $5–$10. Valet $10.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: jeans, t-shirts, flannel, baggy pants, leather jackets, slacks, cocktail dresses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Weeknights for a smaller crowd and more opportunity to meet the band, or Fridays and Saturdays for bigger-name musicians and a packed scene.

  • Close By

    Kingston Mines (2548 North Halsted Street) offers more live blues, as well as a full menu.

B.L.U.E.S. User Reviews

Average rating:
Hidden B.L.U.E.S. Gem in LP
Andrew D. Apr 25, 2013
Being a Groupon addict, when I saw 4 drinks plus admission to B.L.U.E.S. for $15 (originally $44) I pounced on it like a starving cheetah on a gimp wildebeest! While some of my Groupons leave me underwhelmed (don't want to mention names), this one exceeded expectations. While Kingston Mines is more popular, both of these bars put on talented, underappreciated blues artists who just love to play their music. What many people don't know, is that on certain nights, admission at B.L.U.E.S. will get you into Kingston Mines later in the night. The two bars are not competitors, but great friends who help each others' business. The shenanigans that go on during these blues shows are unmatched; some so crazy that I won't tell you so you go there yourself. Think double-choco milkshake at Weiner's Circle weird... The place is tiny, so get there early, or be prepared to stand. This is by no means a knock, as the small nature of the place only adds to its charm. Drink selection isn't great, but it doesn't need to be when you have catchy, heartfelt, and entertaining blues playing every night. I've already purchased this Groupon again, knowing that I will enjoy my next experience at B.L.U.E.S.
Truly Authentic Blues in the Windy City
Daniel U. Mar 19, 2013
Though often overshadowed by the ever popular Kingston Mines ,which happens to reside across the street, B.L.U.E.S Bar is authentic as it gets when it comes to down home Chicago blues. A much smaller more intimate venue then must blues bars in Chicago B.L.U.E.S Bar never seems to disappoint. Hosting live music every night of the week this gritty soulful joint will have you tapping your feet late into the night. If you really love your blues make sure to arrive early on the WEEKENDS especially as seating is somewhat limited. Overall if you're looking for a truly authentic blues experience in the city look no further than B.L.U.E.S Bar in Lincoln Park and you’ll be glad you did.
One of the coolest places in Chicago
Craig B. Dec 9, 2012
For most places, it's really tough for me to say anything about "authenticity," but B.L.U.E.S. is the real deal. It's a hole-in-the-wall kind of place, totally unassuming, and the inside is pretty shabby. The bar is sticky and chipping. One part of the room is elevated about six inches, has random support posts, and seems to be a designated area for "private" parties. But B.L.U.E.S. is anything but private. Everybody mixes together, regardless of what they are wearing or what they know about blues music. The patrons love every dilapidated inch of the place, and I only wish I'd gone here more while I lived in Chicago.
Seriously authentic blues experience
Christina W. Nov 19, 2012
If you have any interest in blues music whatsoever, or even if you're just ambivalent about it but feel like you should check it out because you happen to be in Chicago (which you should), definitely hit this place up. Yeah, it might not have the fame or allure of Buddy Guy's or Kingston Mines, but this place offers a truly comfortable and authentic blues experience. It's small and cozy, and the walls are decorated with all kinds of kooky blues paraphernalia, kitschy christmas lights, and old photographs. And best of all, the performers do everything they can to interact with the audience, getting them to their feet, bringing dancing patrons onstage, and even drinking a beer with the locals at the bar after the show. So even if blues music isn't 100% your thing, you're bound to have an enjoyable time at this place. It's truly unique.
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