Hot Spots In Lakeview And Wrigleyville

Lakeview has it all. High-rise glitz is its eastern flank, all the better to enjoy Lakeview’s, ahem, lake views. Crawling westward, first comes Boystown, as fun and fabulous as the name implies; then Wrigleyville, with Major League Baseball scheduling 81 parties each year; then, increasingly residential and intimate, the Southport Corridor — all within walking distance to Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park. It might take a lifetime to take in all Lakeview has to offer, but here are some places — some hot spots, some land marks, some both — near the top of every list.

Wrigley Field: It’s the second-oldest ballpark in America (next to Boston’s Fenway Park), and current ownership has proved to be excellent caretakers — improving the on-field product, the facility and the area immediately around the park. During the season, the club gives tours of the facility on gamedays and non-gamedays (the latter gets you into more areas of the park), and in the offseason Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field — once a parking lot and donut shop adjacent to the park, now billed as “Wrigleyville’s town square” — keeps the Cubbie vibe going with year-round programming. But the best way to experience Wrigley is still with a bleacher seat and lots of sunscreen.

Music Box Theatre: A bit of old-time movie magic awaits visitors to one of Chicago’s favorite spots for independent, foreign, classic and cult films. An 800-seat venue opened in August 1929, Music Box shows an average of 300 films annually, including regular showings of silent films with live organ accompaniment.

Hollywood Mirror: Thrift shopping is nearly a contact sport in Boystown, and Hollywood Mirror is the place to get in the game — though this Belmont Avenue location might get an argument from Beatnix, a few blocks north on Halsted Street. Regardless, if the point is creating a look, this vintage vault is a great place to get kitschy and creative.

Sidetrack: The Chicago gay bar. Named the most popular bar in Illinois by Buzzfeed, and the most visited bar by Lyft, Sidetrack opened in 1982 with beer cases for seats. It’s now a sprawling complex with five bars capable of hosting 1,000 patrons at a time.

Shubas Tavern: It’s not the Metro (where bigger but not quite huge national acts play), but Shubas is literally a landmark — designated so in 2011 — and books a solid array of local and national talent. Originally a Schlitz Tied House — i.e., a tavern serving only Schlitz products built and operated by the brewery — and rehabbed beginning in 1988 by Chris and Michael Shuba, the establishment now includes the original 30-foot mahogany bar, an 80-seat dining room and an intimate back music hall that landed on Rolling Stone’s list of the Best Clubs in America.

Your Place to Pregame

If you’re looking for a place to be your pre-party home base in Lakeview, be it a brownstone near the Music Box or high-rise apartment with views of the park (ball or Lincoln), see our available rentals here.

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