Year-Round Chicago Weekend Tips: Pop-Up Bars

When: Year-Round

Where: All Neighborhoods, but Especially Lakeview, Wicker Park, and the West Loop



Chicago houses one of the country’s best nightlife scenes. With dozens of breweries, taprooms, cocktail bars, and clubs, drinkers of all constitutions will find something to enjoy. In fact, though reviled by Chicagoans of all ages, Wrigleyville has the longest stretch of continuous bars in the country. You could say this city likes to drink.


To attract customers, Chicago bartenders have to get creative. Whether it’s opening speakeasy-type establishments—a la The Violet Hour and Three Dots and a Dash—or collaborating with other local businesses—such as Dark Matter Coffee—these bartenders know how to draw a crowd. Most recently, however, the city has seen an increase in themed pop-up bars—and we’re not complaining.


In January, February, and March of 2018, residents and visitors can visit three separate, nostalgia-fueled pop-ups. Replay Lincoln Park (2833 North Sheffield Avenue), which previously hosted a Moe’s Tavern pop-up complete with Duff Beer and Flaming Moe’s, hosts a Rick and Morty-themed bar throughout February. Across town, the Wicker Park Emporium Beercade hosts its second iteration of the Stranger Things bar pop-up.


Looking for something a bit more upscale? The Rookery (2109 W. Chicago Avenue) is celebrating Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining with a pop-up named Room 237. Customers can sip bourbons and movie-themed cocktails while talking to Lloyd, the film’s infamous bartender.


3 thoughts on “Year-Round Chicago Weekend Tips: Pop-Up Bars”

  1. I’ve lived in a lot of cities, and I can tell you—nobody takes pop-up bars as seriously as Chicagoans. It’s absurd.

  2. That Simpson’s pop-up was great. They had a $75 “Yoko,” which was a single plum floating in a glass of perfume. Amazing!

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