The Flat Iron

20s / 30s / ATM / Anything goes / Arcade Games / Artistic Professionals / Artsy / Bar / Cash Only / Classic Rock / Country / Creative / Drink Specials / Edgy / Edgy Rocker Wear / Flannel Shirts / Fun-loving / Heavy Metal / High Heels / Hipster / Jeans / Jukebox / Laid back / Lively / Locals / Metal / Mid 20s / Photo Booth / Pool (Billiards) / Punks / Rockers / Singles / Specialty Beer / Tank Tops / Vintage
The Flat Iron With a rich history in the arts and music scene, The Flat Iron, formerly the live music venue The Blue Note, draws a dedicated community of creative patrons. Chicago United States 41.910286 -87.677345
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Wall mural at The Flat Iron in Chicago.
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Party Earth Review With a rich history in the arts and music scene, The Flat Iron, formerly the live music venue The Blue Note, draws a dedicated community of creative patrons. The giant face of a skull immediately greets guests upon entering... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    M–F, Su 4pm–4am, Sa 4pm–5am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Flat Iron Review

The Scene

With a rich history in the arts and music scene, The Flat Iron, formerly the live music venue The Blue Note, draws a dedicated community of creative patrons.

With a rich history in the arts and music scene, The Flat Iron, formerly the live music venue The Blue Note, draws a dedicated community of creative patrons.

The giant face of a skull immediately greets guests upon entering – usually accompanied by the deafening sounds of Black Sabbath from the jukebox – while murals by thirteen local artists showcase everything from a zombie version of the Virgin Mary to a bouquet of eyeballs, giving The Flat Iron a distinct tattoo parlor atmosphere.

A half-bar to the right leads to an open floor, where dim lights hang over punk rockers and hipsters gathered around the pool tables and old-school arcade machines. A second larger bar adorned by a vintage cash-only register offers an eclectic variety of beers from classic favorites like Blue Moon to relatively smaller labels like The Mad Hatter, while an elevated seating area provides plenty of space for the creative clientele to chill out and observe all the art and artists cavorting below.

Quiet moments are definitely rare at The Flat Iron, a fun-loving hangout for the tattooed and pierced set looking to rock out to the jukebox, play some pool, and throw back a few whiskey shots with strangers.

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Tip from Emma:

Sundays through Thursdays, ask for the Whiskey-PBR – for the price of one $5 shot, you’ll also snag a free PBR to go with it.

  • Crowd

    Local artists, old-school punk rockers, hipsters, and singles, mid-20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Digital jukebox with a selection of mainly classic rock, metal, and old-school country. Three pool tables, three arcade games, and a photo booth.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    ATM on site. Bloody Mary specials Sa–Su.

  • Prices

    Beer $2.50–$6, cocktails $5+, shots $4.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Punk rock or hipster casual: leather jackets and boots, black hoodies, ripped jeans, silver jewelry, and plaid button-downs for guys, and tank tops, leopard prints, vintage floral dresses, and occasional high heels for girls.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Around 2am on weekdays and 12:30am on weekends, after which the bar stays lively, loud, and full until 4am.

  • Close By

    The Empty Bottle’s Bite Cafe (1035 North Western Avenue) serves classic American favorites without losing the rock music vibe.

The Flat Iron User Reviews

Average rating:
Laid back, cheap drinks, more real crowd.
John C. Aug 6, 2013
The Flat Iron is located in Wicker Park; which is know for its large population of hipsters. This bar is great to relax, have cheap drinks ($2.50 PBR cans), and play some pool. I've had some great, chill nights where I came with a friend or two and met/conversed with people I met there. If you are looking for people of the opposite sex, you can find it here. However, the selection isn't the 'highest' quality and you can find more attractive men/women at more downtown locations (The Loop, River North). Overall, if you are not looking to dress up and want a more relaxed night, this is a great place to stop by.
Grow a mustache or bring a weapon
Jimmy P. Feb 22, 2013
Did you know that if you grow a mustache and shave the sides of your head you instantly become tougher than a Hell's Angel? Neither did I, but that's what The Flat Iron is here for: to remind everyone that if you don't wear skinny jeans, you aren't hard enough to hang in this wannabe tough-guy pool hall. In the ongoing wars between bros and hipsters, The Flat Iron stands as a decisive battleground property in the increasingly gentrified Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood. Across the street from bro safe-haven "Tavern," The Flat Iron has become a late-night receptacle for the bros looking to extend their night into the "I don't remember doing that" part of the evening. Meanwhile, little do the bros know that The Flat Iron is ground zero for bitter hipsters who pine for the days of backwards hats being restricted to Lincoln Park. They drink PBR's because it comes in a can and tastes like pennies, and they play pool because how else are you supposed to display knuckle tattoos? It's 2am, the sports bars have closed, The Flat Iron is the closest late-night bar and THE BACKWARDS HATS ARE COMING, THE BACKWARDS HATS ARE COMING!!! I walked in with a couple of friends without flannel, facial hair or vans. I might as well have walked in wearing a toga and chanting "U-S-A". Crazy artwork cover the walls the way shitty tattoos become artistic when jammed together on a skinny arm to produce a sleeve. The heavy metal blasts, cue balls crack and beer cans hiss in a sea of piercings while my friends and I begin to talk ourselves into this place becoming a late-night staple. So I put a quarter on a pool table, and wait my turn while sipping a Jameson and soda that I. DID. NOT. NEED. Being a Friday night, there isn't exactly room to put a la-z-boy and streeetch, but we try our best to keep out of the way by hugging the walls around the pool tables. My girlfriend is jabbed in the back with a pool cue a couple times, for which SHE apologizes for. "I'm sorry!" from a cute girl who was hit with a pool cue is met with an eye-roll and "fucking move!" from some rail-thin, I-don't-speak-to-my-father "man". Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Flat Iron Regular! Not wanting to further interrupt the filming of "The Color of Money 2: My Parents Pay My Rent, but They Still Oppress Me", we retreat to the back bar. My buddy Dave orders a Goose Island 312--not a hyper-craft beer, but a Chicago staple nonetheless. The bartender audibly snickers, points to another regular at the end of the bar and says "see, toldya!" They share a laugh, and the barkeep takes my friend's money while still chuckling and shaking his head at his predictive powers. In case you ever wondered, you can get paid to insult people to their faces. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Flat Iron bartender! Not that we were looking for swimsuit models to scratch our backs while taking our drink orders (God, if you're listening...), but I could do without condescension from someone who works for tips. I am not a true bro, as evidenced by the fact that I didn't throw the heel of my palm into our bartender's barely protruding Adam's apple, but I also don't enjoy wearing clothes that don't fit. That statement alone serves as a call to arms for The Flat Iron patrons and staff; fearful that their pool hall will be taken over by Bank of America and turned into "Gap Superstore". If looking for a late-night spot to add that extra hour to your next-morning hangover, I'd advise slamming the last Mike's Hard Lemonade in your fridge before walking into The Flat Iron...unless you're coming from a tattoo parlor and are super pissed they misspelled "Miss Fit" across your knuckles.
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