After-work vibes with these Logan Square barsThe Blue Line was packed, the bus was late and both had a less-than-appetizing stench: Frankly, it's a normal commute, but today has been a day. Sounds like you, today? My condolences, but I have just the ticket for a night of pure relaxation. These five bars have the perfect week-day wind-down vibe, strong drinks and they're close to home (and to sweeten the deal, they bloom on the weekends). Mind you these are transformers of Logan Square and Bucktown: No weeknight will resemble the weekend energy at these bars.
Monday nights at Map Room
That overwhelming anxiety and excitement you feel at an airport is not all that different from walking into the Map Room for the first time. The back walls -- blown-up maps from corner to corner -- and ceiling offer what'd you'd expect from a place with a name like "Map Room." Worldly trinkets can be found practically everywhere: National Geographic issues lined up bookcases, currency under the finish of tables, and BEER FROM EVERYWHERE. Okay, not everywhere, but they have a serious list of beer. It's just a cool place with cool dudes behind the bar.
Tuesdays with WeeGee's
Before taking on a long week, WeeGee's Lounge is the place to prep. You might be the only one at the bar, but its eclectic vibe and stiff drinks will have you happy as a clam -- oh, you also have to find it. When walking down Armitage Avenue, pay attention to the gloomy building at the corner of Lawndale Avenue: The best Old Fashioned and the cutest retro waitress await inside.
Chicken Wednesdays with Parson's
You probably already know of this notorious chicken joint: Parson's has great outdoor seating, prime corner location, and pretty fantastic (spicy) fried chicken. However, catch this place mid-evening and it's a romantic spot for you and your thoughts. In all honesty, get the slushie. Chill out, and have the damn slush. The alcohol doesn't separate like frozen drinks you've had elsewhere. Vibe out, and slurp it down.
An order of hand-cut fries and three sips of a whiskey neat is how long it will take before you decide this is the place. Best Intentions is your run-of-the-mill local hot spot. On the weekends, it's a beast, but during the week it's the best place to enjoy delicious food and great jazz. It has grungy paneling, a huge fridge of beer and a jukebox: the trifecta of a perfect bar ... but you also can't find this one. It sits on the corner of Spaulding and Armitage avenues.
Cole's on Fridays (well, always go to Cole's Bar)
Save the best for last: Cole's bar is the kindest place in the city. You walk into a room subtly doused in images of Abraham Lincoln (Cole loves him) and sit at pew-benched table, welcome home. There's something going on nearly every day, but it's still a chill spot. Artists, vagabonds, pool junkies, and old dudes who love PBR mingle here; it's just a good place to be.
Jacqueline Covey is always on the hunt for the right space to write and enjoy music. Her sister, the beautiful and talent CJ, introduced her to Cole's and her adventurous roommate MS has a nose for a good watering hole.