Playing The Trump Card – River North

Chicago is a a city of neighborhoods.  Not that anyone knows all of them, and the real estate agents keep inventing new designations all the time.  But since I spent a decent amount of time in River North last week, I thought I'd cover this neighborhood that is very tourist friendly, and definitely a place you should hit on your visit.

Since it is north of the river, the Trump is in River North neighborhood, just across the river from "the Loop."  A very tourist friendly neighborhood with tons of shopping (the Magnificent Mile runs through it), tons of theme restaurants (Ed Debevick's, Hard Rock, P.F. Chang's, etc.), and lots of bars.

This week, I hit the following establishments:

The House of Blues:  As part of the TruIf it's "the blues" why are these dudes red?mp weekend, we had a reservation at HOB.  I've eaten lunch here a few times, and always had good food.  I'd never been there for dinner.  When a blues band was playing on the stage.  I know there are other HOB's around the country, and no one is going to confuse it with Kingston Mines, but it is probably a lot easier on the casual blues listener.  My group had a good time, the food was very good, and the music was just right.  And while it may be called "the blues" these guys were really rocking the joint.That pissed me off.

Rossi's:  A dive bar that we hit after HOB.  No.  Serious.  A fucking DIVE.  How much of a dive?  When I went to the washroom, there was a condom hanging from the urinal handle.  (That's the ACTUAL picture, not something I lifted from the webs.) I opted against flushing.  Later in the evening, a rough looking version of Owen Wilson pass out on the bar, and then get to be the middle man in a struggle between a rough, short, round bleached blond thinking she was a 1980's Madonna and an androgynous  emo kid.

Rock Bottom Brewery:  Thursday after work, a professional organization that I'm in was supposed to meet at Rock Bottom for a presentation and free beer and food.  Very few people showed, and the panel discussion was lame and ill-prepared.  But the beer and food were pretty good.  But, the group was a dud, and not worth staying for that 6th free beer.  Let me stress, this had nothing to do with Rock Bottom, I like the place, especially their rooftop in the summer, but with the dud of the event.

Crimson Lounge:  So, after the Rock BottomHooking up at Hotel Sex bottomed out, I met up with some co-workers who went the the Crimson Lounge.  Located in  the Hotel Sex Hotel Sax, the former House of Blues hotel, the Crimson Lounge is a pretty posh hotel bar.  It offers $3 draft beer, wine, and champagne on Thursday.  Which is why people had picked it for their after work frosty beverages.  The bar staff didn't seem that good.  And one of the "surgically enhanced" cocktail waitresses in a short black dress must have put on high heels for the first time that day.  She walked a little more like a lumber jack clomping through the woods vs. a new born giraffe, but either way, totally destroying the look she was going for.

So, if you're looking for a good place to hang while you're visiting, skip Division St.  Skip Rush St.  And if you are more than a few years out of college, you may even want to skip Lincoln Ave.  Make River North your play ground.

Oh, and during the day, you may want to hit up the highest concentration of art galleries outside of Manhattan.


Cora said...

HAHAHAHA! You took a picture of the condom in the bathroom! Hee hee.

See, only a BLOGGER would think to do that (like me with the flat tire and Candy taking a self portrait while on a stretcher on the way to the ER) this is why we bloggers are the coolest people in the world! Yes sir! :-)

BTW, what excuse would you have given if someone had walked in and saw you taking that picture of the used condom in the bathroom, hmm?!

mo.stoneskin said...

I'd love to visit the House of Blues. I've got some live music from there.

Scope said...

Cora - My excuse? "To document the decline and fall of western civilization."

Mo - If you go, I recommend the jambalaya. But only if you like spicy food.

Sassy Britches said...

Very cool description of new born giraffe. I've never thought of it like that before, but from now on I will be striving to walk like that in heels!

Soda and Candy said...

Dude. I just threw up in my mouth a little at the condom photo.


Candy's daily Dandy said...

Slummin it, eh?
What would the Donald say?

Fancy Schmancy said...

Next time I'm in Chi-town I'm looking you up, anyway, so you can take me to any of those places!

Fancy Schmancy said...

Any of those places except the dive bar with the used condom on the terlet handles.

J.J. in L.A. said...

>is very tourist friendly, and definitely a place you should hit on your visit.

Hmm, I wonder who you're talking about... ; )

Eric said...

So I take it that Rossi's is not, how do you guys in Chicago say it?, 'North Shore'?

House of Blues is a great venue, there is one in Dallas too.