Some of the best night clubs and lounges in Chicago offer no cover nights, or are always no cover, so it makes sense to visit them over a mediocre night club that you have to pay just to walk into. Here are my choices for the best Chicago night clubs that are no cover and still have plenty to offer.
At Rockit Bar and Grill, 22 West Hubbard Street, you can follow dinner up with a laid back lounge experience. Complete with pool tables and a DJ, the spot exudes a classy, neighborhood spot that attracts Chicagoans from all walks of life. Because of the earlier closing hours, Fridays and Sunday at 1:30 a.m. and Saturday at 2 a.m., several folks start the night out at Rockit and then head out to other bars if they feel the night is still young. The upstairs lounge is definitely the place to be when at Rockit’s, and several large groups of friends hang out upstairs- there is still plenty of room for additional minglers.
Chicago’s Lava Lounge, 1270 North Milwaukee, is newly redecorated, but still features the same lineup of local Djs and attracts the same crowd. Known as an original kind of place in Chicago, Lava Lounge has never subscribed to the typical nightclub agenda and gussied itself up for the crowd. A very intimate bar and dance floor allow room for as many people as the owners and other club goers are comfortable with knowing in one night. Drinks are reasonably priced and most nights there is no cover to support the local Djs that the club always supports in the effort of getting them discovered.
One of Chicago’s most famous and regularly packed night clubs is Sonotheque, an experience in sound. Most of Sonotheque’s popularity has spread by word of mouth, after all, there are not many night clubs in Chicago that are focused more on the music than they are on making money. The rest of the crowd packs the lounge because of the good music and the anticipation of a great Dj dropping in to spin for the night. Go here for great music and a nicely decorated spot to sit back and listen to it in. Most of the DJs tend to be working on something new, and looking to expose the Chicago crowd to a new sound, so it always makes for an interesting night of music.
Salud, 1471 North Milwaukee Avenue, is one of those places that you discover and want to take all your friends to. What looks like a cozy, laid back dining spot is actually a hot, late night Latin spot with more tequila than you could ever wish for. Actually, the place is laid back, but in a sexy way, and the crowd and staff are both fun and open to just enjoying the night. Latin techno music playing in the background is not so loud that you can’t carry on a conversation with your friends or the cute guy at the bar. Head here for a great time night after night.
On the weekends Sangria Tapa’s Bar and Restaurant, 901 West Weed Street, opens itself up to Chicago’s nightclub crowd and pushes the tables back for dancing and mingling. While there is a regular cover charge that promoters will charge you at the door, late night diners or visitors to the bar do not have to pay cover. A Dj provides the music and depending on the night you will hear everything from old school salsa tunes to new Latin techno beats, but most nights include a little bit of everything.
The aforementioned guide is not all as Chicago is too big a city when compared to others of Washington DC so it is impossible to list out all the nightclubs it has. But if you are looking for true entertainment value, you can very well try out the aforementioned ones and while some may prefer Lavelle over others, Salue is an excellent choice and easily matches Lavelle in many departments right from staff service to miscellaneous facilities, which makes it a jaunt that everyone must experience every once in a while to get the much required adrenaline rush and euphoria.