Chicago's Guide to a Rainy Day
Let me set the scene for you: It’s July. It was 50 degrees out Monday, Wednesday was a wash- out, and Saturday promises to be a sunny day with record- breaking heat. As a Chicago native, I have learned that the weather in this city can be a little fickle, to say the least. No matter how much the forecast in the Windy City can test your patience while you plan your week, the never- ending list of must- sees and to do’s in Chicago will always win you over. Here is the go- to guide for some of the greatest things the city has to offer, rain or shine.
Eno Wine Bar
Anything but a Drag Sunday
After spending the weekend at the beach in the fresh summer sunshine, you’re feeling a little fried; yet you’re still not ready to let the weekend go. What to do on a Sunday afternoon? Eno Wine Bar is the perfect place to add fun, excitement, and top- notch entertainment to your Sunday. Their Pour Decisions Brunch will liven up your afternoon and make you wonder why you don’t come here every weekend.
Pour Decisions is a new drag brunch series, and was such a hit for the first month, they extended it into July. And after attending, I surely understand why. The drag queen performances serve up a dynamic rarely seen in downtown Chicago. Trust me, this is the high energy start to a Sunday you’ve been looking for.
While it may be out of the ordinary for some, it is enjoyed by all. The intimate space with open- air seating makes for an inclusive experience; even shoppers walking down The Mag Mile had to stop and watch! The bold make up, head turning costumes, and lively music are a perfect recipe for a dance party right by your table.
The Pour Decisions Brunch includes shared pastries for the table, a choice of brunch entrée, and choice of bottomless beverage. Aside from this special event held on Sundays, this wine bar offers specials every day of the week including live music, happy hours, and table side oyster shucking. In other words, Eno is the place to be to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily routine.
Where Your Eyes Will Be As Big As Your Stomach
You had dinner reservations at one of the many rooftops in Chicago, then the weather forecast changed to 100% chance of rain. Now what? Barton G offers a different kind of spectacle than a rooftop, and it will absolutely take your breath away. Described as imaginative, fun, exciting, and over the top, this restaurant serves food and drink with a side of creativity. The elegant and extravagant décor makes you feel like you are dining in your dreams. This trendy new spot is all about the visuals, and the décor is only the beginning!
Founder Barton G. Weiss began his career in event production, creating the most imaginative and outrageous displays for not only the scenery, but the food as well. His imagination led him to start restaurants, and his design skills followed. Expect to see shrimp served in a popcorn machine, mac and cheese in a giant mouse trap, and five- foot tall cotton candy on a mannequin head. The excitement of these contraptions as your meal comes out of the kitchen is a head turner, a fun conversation starter, and of course makes for a great photo.
Don’t worry about trying to eat your sushi appetizer when it comes served on a giant ceramic pig: once your pictures are taken and you settle into the awe, the servers will plate your food for you. Dining at Barton G is more than sitting down for a meal; it is an immersive experience that will make your eyes as big as your stomach. It is just as delicious as it is exciting!
Barton G now offers brunch, with a buffet on display featuring all the extravagance you can see when ordering off the menu. Whether you want to stop in for a drink at the bar or only get a dessert, your expectations will be exceeded. Everything is a pleasant surprise when dining at Barton G!
Over 120 Ways to Have Fun
At this point, you don’t trust the weather enough to think of planning anything outside. Fret not! Whether it’s a date night, party, corporate event, or family reunion, Lucky Strike is the perfect place for all ages to let loose and enjoy. Lucky Strike is a one- stop shop, with all the food, drink, and fun you can ask for under one roof. Complete with 12 full bowling lanes, over 120 arcade games, billiards, darts, and a full restaurant and bar, there is something for everyone here.
Lucky Strike is the product of a love story: a couple wanted to create a place that would bring people together to have fun on dates, in a different way than sitting down over dinner. They wanted something more interactive. The venue started as a roller rink years ago, and as it grew in popularity, they expanded into a bowling alley, which eventually became Lucky Strike Social.
There are locations all across the country, and two of them are here in Chicago! This hot spot is perfect for groups of any size, whether you want to come for your first date or host your holiday party. Conference rooms are available to have a meeting before hitting the “tour of Chicago” mini golf course for a more playful setting than the office. You can’t help but unleash your inner child when playing skee ball, four way air hockey, or trying to nail a strike in the bowling lanes.
“Having fun cures the soul and mind” is the founder’s explanation for why Lucky Strike is such a hit. It’s a memorable and nostalgic experience, reminiscent of your old bowling parties and favorite arcade games. They offer daily specials, including bottomless bowl, free bowling with any food purchase, and industry days. Whether you want to come in to get loaded pulled pork nachos or take on all 120 arcade games, it is a guaranteed good time.
900 North Michigan Shops
Stress- Free Shopping Spree
You were planning to shop ‘til you drop, but the temperatures dropped before you did. You don’t want to give up on your shopping spree because of the weather, but the thought of trekking up and down Michigan Avenue in the wind sends chills down your spine. Luckily, the 900 North Michigan Shops boast all your shopping needs under one roof. You can get that purse you’ve been eyeing in Gucci, a new workout outfit at lululemon, hit the gym in your new gear, and replenish in Aster hall- all without leaving the 450,000 square foot building. The wide variety of stores in the 900 North Michigan Shops allows you get everything you need- and then some- in one shopping trip.
The lower level of the shopping center is home to Equinox fitness club and Mario Tricoci salon and spa. As you go up level by level, the mix of stores is impressive, catering to people of all kinds. Anybody can walk in there and walk out with some item they have been searching for. The new food hall on the 5th floor has a wide variety of restaurants, so you and your shopping squad can all have their favorite choice for lunch. The welcoming atmosphere makes shopping here more than just a pit stop: it’s a whole experience.
The 900 Shops have special events such as photos with Santa, Easter Bunny, mermaids, and more. These shops are not only family friendly, but tourist friendly as well. Out- of- towners can visit the concierge desk to receive the Exclusive 900 card, which gives access to incentives, premium savings, and gifts around the shopping center. Located right at the north end of Michigan Avenue, this is the perfect starting (or finishing) point for your shopping spree.
900 North Michigan Shops
900 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
Concierge Desk: (312) 915-3916
Management Office: (312) 915-3900
The House of Blues
Music to Make You Feel at Home
The weekend is approaching, and you’re ready for some fun in the sun. The forecast calls for gloomy skies all weekend? *Cue singalong* The House of Blues will make you happy when skies are gray!
This legendary music hall is the recipe for a perfect night out- with a full restaurant, bars on each floor of the dazzling concert hall, and performances from every genre of music. Come on and get happy, because your weekend needs will be fulfilled all under one roof.
As soon as you walk through the doors, you feel as if you were transported into an old school rock and roll music hall. The vibrant, culture- rich décor exudes a show- stopping energy that will stick with you through the night. The intimate concert hall, seating 1250 people offers a uniquely intimate concert experience. No matter if you’re standing in general admission or watching from above in a box, you have nothing less than a perfect view of the stage. The smaller venue adorned with glimmering accents and eye- catching art makes for a welcoming, inclusive experience.
Sticking around after the concert? Head upstairs to the Foundation Room, a night club with rotating themes aligning with the nightly performers. A night at The House of Blues takes you away from the real world and into a fantasy where the music, art, and energy is never ending.
Don’t have concert tickets but still want to hear some live music? The House of Blues is flooded with sights and sounds every day of the week. Live music begins every day at 5 o’clock in the bar for happy hour, and every weekend they host a brunch that invites everyone part of the band. The World Famous Gospel Brunch is uniquely heartwarming; the buffet style brunch has everybody singing and dancing along to the beat. Every brunch is different, depending on the crowd; all are welcome to start a dance contest, sing- off, or simply admire the breathtaking vocalists.
The House of Blues is somehow both comfortable and homey, yet also extraordinary and energetic; it is a place that provides the full package and then some. Whether you come for the concert and night life or just a drink or two at happy hour, you will be sure to head back into Chicago weather in a good mood.
House of Blues
329 N. Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60654