Grab the red line or the #22 Clark bus and take it to the heart of Andersonville. Originally settled by Swedish immigrants, today its allure lies in the bustling GLBT community that lines Clark between Foster and Bryn Mawr.
When I first settled in Chicago five years ago, the friendliness and energy brought me to this part of the city. Over the past few years it’s changed a bit, but for the most part it’s maintained its charm. I’ve written about some suggestions I have but keep checking back. I’ll make sure to detail some of the places in future posts.
Start your night off at any of the several dining establishments Andersonville has to offer. There’s everything from pub grub (Hamburger Mary’s and Lady Gregory) to more upscale dining (Antiprima, Vincent, and Jin Ju). Calo offers Italian cuisine in their established tradition. If you’ve got some time on your hands (like a few hours!!!) make sure to pit stop at Great Lake, they serve up some of the best pizza in town. If BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage) is the way you like to roll, visit Andersonville Wine and Spirits and skip down the yellow brick road to Sunshine Cafe, an absolutely no-frills restaurant that serves down home Japanese dishes. (Think Japanese comfort food).
When you’re done with your eats, dance to the beats at Mary’s Attic where house and techno music fill the upstairs club overlooking Clark Street. If you don’t like to dance but like watching others, there’s @mosphere where go go dancers provide entertainment Friday and Saturday nights. Head to the northern end of the ‘hood to The Call, which regularly host theme nights.
If watering holes and conversation are more your style, try In Fine Spirits. With an extensive wine and cocktail list, you may find yourself buying by the bottle, not the glass. Martinis at Marty’s pack a punch and are guaranteed to make even the most uncoordinated person dance like a rockstar.
One of my favorite places is Simon’s Tavern. A lone jukebox stands by the entry and spins indie tunes while patrons slug back pints of craft beers and the all too trendy PBRs. If you end up here, check out the mural on the north wall. Somebody was cut out of it. Rumor has it, it’s an old Chicago gangster who ticked someone off.
The fun doesn’t have end when the night does. Take a quick nap and gallop off to Big Jones (Cajun and Creole), Ann Sather (American and Swedish), or Svea (Swedish) for brunch. If you’re feeling the post-night guilt, pick up a day pass to Cheetah Gym and repent for the previous twelve hours of eating and drinking.
No matter what you fancy, Andersonville is sure to satisfy at least one desire. So pack up and trek north!!!