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Best ongoing local music showcase

Culture & Nightlife No Comments »

CHIRP Night at the Whistler

Of course, the Whistler is already a great spot for catching live music, small enough for an intimate encounter and yet not so DIY that you can’t get that fancy craft cocktail, or out-of-pocket cheap beer tallboy can. Hand-picked by CHIRP DJs who focus on local talent, this monthly curated selection offers a high-quality lineup of not-to-be-missed acts.

2421 N. Milwaukee, 773.227.3530,

Best of Chicago 2015

Best new bar or club (opened in the last year or so)

Culture & Nightlife, Logan Square No Comments »

The Owl

Logan Square nightlife has reached a tipping point with the opening of this giant 5am drinking complex. As the latest addition to the already-great Milwaukee Avenue tavern corridor—which includes The Boiler Room, Revolution Brewing, Cole’s, The Whistler and more—The Owl seals the neighborhood’s fate as a libation destination. This multi-room bar is surprisingly comfy for such a huge space, featuring plush couches, warm woodwork, mirrored walls, a dance floor and even a working fountain. An extensive craft-beer list and a kick-ass jukebox, featuring everything from Siouxsie to Sharon Jones, means your late-night session at the Owl is sure to be a hoot.

The Owl
2521 North Milwaukee

Audience choice:
Haymarket Pub & Brewery
737 West Randolph

Best of Chicago 2011

Best indicator that America needs a new healthcare policy

City Life No Comments »

“Benefit for a Broken Arm”

This grassroots fundraiser at The Whistler in August raised more than a thousand dollars to help a local uninsured bicyclist, Jamie Lehtola, pay the medical bills she incurred after being clipped by a car. Lehtola, a server at Japonais, was the victim of a hit-and-run, and her resulting surgery racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills. ”Benefit for a Broken Arm” was cobbled together in two weeks and included live music, a bake sale and a kissing booth. Washington bureaucrats, take note: uninsured servers with busted arms are now sanctified charity cases.

Best of Chicago 2009

Best bar to see a reading

Audience Choice, Culture & Nightlife, Logan Square No Comments »

The Whistler

Say what you will about The Whistler’s too-cool-for-school clientele. Say what you will about the intricate special drinks. But the bar’s atmosphere and ambiance—cemented with assortments of candles, mood lighting and small-space intimacy—create a wonderful environment for literary engagement. Where on most nights live musicians offer their craft, The Whistler’s stage and sound system provide a perfect setting for readings. Recently we checked out the Orange Alert Reading Series and came away more than pleased. Move over Danny’s, there’s a new sheriff in town.

2421 North Milwaukee

Best of Chicago 2009

Best new bar (opened in the last year or so)

Audience Choice, Culture & Nightlife, Logan Square, Wicker Park 1 Comment »

The Whistler

The easy-to-miss, brand-spankin’ new Logan Square exercise in swankery, the modestly sized Whistler features a commendably extensive cocktail and beer list, all reasonably priced (not all craft cocktails have to be $11) and, most importantly, strong. And, the owners understand one of the essential rules of bars constructed for hipsters—always have a two-dollar beer. So, amongst the craft brews and lovely gins, we find the classic $2 can of PBR. A stage at one end of the bar occasionally hosts live music, and when it goes dark, a DJ takes the reins. When we were there, we were privy to a mixture of Nirvana, Yo La Tengo and others, but we heard the bar’s got a kick-ass metal night and we plan to return for sure.

2421 N. Milwaukee

Audience choice:
Violet Hour
1520 N. Damen

Best of Chicago 2008