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Rate & Reviews
How would you rate Blue Chicago?
Love this place. And the good news is that they now have added toilet seats.
Been going here for years, I have never had a bad time. Even if you are a casual fan of blues, its spot you need to check out. Think of the cover as price of admission to a concert.
Great place, got here at 830pm, music started at 9 and still got a seat! Staff was great and music was better!
Lezbehonest! its awesome
A little touristy, but the music still holds up.
Caught some live blues here and, yeah, it was a little pricy at $10 entry but drinks were not too expensive and the band and act were both great! I'd definitely come back if I had some guests in town.
It gets pretty packed in the evening, so I recommend showing up around an hour after opening (music will be going or at least close to going by then but you should still be able to catch a table or seat at the bar).
Stumbled upon this place accidentally, and so glad we did! Had a musician friend in from out of town and this was just what the doctor ordered. Incredible musicians. Cheap cover ($8 on a Sunday night). Highly recommend!
Awesome (but the 10$ cover)
$10 cover well worth it. Drinks are inexpensive for a Chicago club, so easy break even.
Tenry Johns has incredible energy. Not just a musician, but a real entertainer.
Claudette Miller is a dying breed. They don't make blues singers like her anymore. I went to school in Chicago from 78-82, and one of my big regrets is that I didn't go to the Blues clubs more, since Chitown Blues scene is unique. Get your butt of the couch and enjoy some Blues if you are in Chicago.
Why did I give this Chicago institution 1 star? Because this is the first bar I have ever been to that charges a ($12) cover AND a 2 drink minimum AND a $20 min for credit cards. Now honestly....maybe im overeacting because id obviously had bought two drinks anyway. But the sheer fact that they have the 2 drink min sign on the table makes this place feel cheap. What would they have done if I paid the cover, sat down, and didnt order anything? And said "oh I don't drink alcohol"- then what? I really wanna know how that conversation would have gone...given that they didnt state the two drink minimum when I came in and paid the cover
One of those "must dos" in Chicago, but the place could use a bit of an upgrade. Not what it used to be. Nevertheless, it's all about the talent, so check it out. I'll never forget seeing Willy Kent here my first time in town, about 10 years ago.
I'd suggest a stay at the bar, get there by 8 for the 9pm show.
Love this downtown live Blues venue. Interactive, fun and great talent. Head here, spend a few hours and a couple dollars enjoying great music! No better value then live music venues. I'll be back!
The venue is tiny and somewhat dingy, but it's a lot of fun. It felt authentic and we really enjoyed ourselves. It was a bit hard to dance in here since it was so packed, but there's not much that can be done about that. Both artists, Demetria Taylor and JW Williams were really great and the band was excellent. My one gripe is that there is not nearly enough seating so most people had to stand. My feet started hurting so I couldn't stay as long as I would have liked to. Cover was reasonable at $12 a person. I would definitely come back for some blues.
Awesome music... took our 22 year old son and we all had a blast hearing Charlie Love and his group. Going back again tonight for another good time before we head back south tomorrow.
Nice quaint little place. Charlie Love's band was great. The only issue was the $20 min. for credit cards at the bar.
Love authentic blues music??? Any bar you go to you're going to blow some $$. Blue Chicago does charge a cover and min drink required BUT it's downtown, you'll find an intimate environment with local blues musicians. We had a great time chatting with the lead singer. Friendly people all around. Greatb experience.
WARNING! (read below)
This place is great. It gives you a genuine feel of chicago blues. If you vidit chicago and are a blues enthudiast then its s must go.
Yet to give you my full story i dint get a good first impression. When you walk in there is "bulldog" at the door (a.k.a. the host). His manners are kinda rough (you will get a better fel of him at his introduction before the band starts) but don't let that intimidate you or break your mood. Take it as part of the bar's overall feeling. Now to the money issue and my WARNING: the entrance fee is CASH ONLY (no credit csrd accepted). so they have an "ATM" in the bar to pull cash with a fee of $2 per transaction. I got a $20 and overall (with my banks exchange fee) i was charged around $25 in my account. Now after the entrance there is a TWO DRINKS MINIMUM rule that you don't know until you sit down. That is a bit sneaky but anyway... the beers & drinks are cheap ($5-8) BUT pay as well with cash because there is a $20 MINIMUM FOR CREDIT CARD. So unless you anyways drink more than $20 use cash!
I bet you have a picture by now. My suggestion: don't miss it but pay CASH and have them already with you
Love small intimate consistent I feel safe
Nice music (@blues lovers), many drinks to choose from, great atmosphere.
Friendly staff, great crowd, AMAZING blues, fantastic experience! Was only in Chicago for one night and as far as I'm concerned there wouldn't have been a better place to spend the evening.
Place was packed around 11pm on a Friday. There was a small line/short wait, but the staff did a great job getting people in and making sure the crowds weren't too obnoxious. As long as you don't mind standing room only, it's fine.
Cover charge was $12 (cash only) but worth every penny. Definitely bring cash. There's a $20 minimum for cards at the bar. There is an atm, but it charges a $2 fee. Bartender gave me a soda on the house, though, after I had to spend money at the atm to pay for my first drink.
Small dance floor was perfect for grooving, and creating an intimate atmosphere between the performers and the audience. The sound blew me away. The talent of the band was phenomenal. Would have paid $50 to see them in concert.
Overall, a really excellent venue. If you love blues, stopping here is a must!
What a wonderful time we had here. The band played great blues. Beer is just the right kind of cold. Crowd was great. Fun is guaranteed.
Here is a late review, I went in June and July! I was asked to upload more pics and maybe write a review since I am in love with this place!
The first time I came here, I saw John Primer and he blew my mind away! The following time I went back to see John Primer again!! Such an amazing talented musician. This place is so amazing and has a great vibe, I love music so when I go I get lost listening and watching the artist play. I do not pay attention to my surroundings, but just the stage and the artist. So far I am not disappointed! I highly recommend checking this place out if you like live music and love The Blues!!!
One of the best places of hearing my favorite music (The Blues)... An amazing place
Eat before entering, be there between 8-9, otherwise will be full. Music 10/10, service 10/10!! Had a great night!!
This place is great. It's rather small, but that's one of the things that makes it great. The only thing that I didn't really appreciate is the $10 cover and $20 drink minimum; the cover is fine when there is a band, but the drink minimum is cheesy. The band (BTW Express) is awesome! You will have a good time.
Amazing place! Great music and cool staff
Live authentic blues in intimate bar setting. Very reasonable prices. Cool crowd of tourists and locals.
Awesome music great time, tight squeeze gets warm but good times
Great live music in this intimate blues bar.
Bouncer is rude. inpolitely told me to take my feet off the chair . It was a chair at our table . Smells like cigar smoke in here . Avoid this place horrible service , decent music but not worth it with rude staff
What a great experience. A true blues bar. Beer/drink selection was limited, however you are there for the music. This is a "must go back" next time I'm in Chicago.
Great staff and good music. We had a perfect Saturday night!
This place is really fun. It opens a little later (8pm I believe) and my wife and I showed up around 8:20. We were able to snag barseats before the place filled up entirely and became standing room only. The performers played some excellent classic blues style music and really knew how to work with the crowd to keep songs fresh and engaging. We had a few drinks and the bartenders were friendly and quick to refill us when we were ready for each round. This is pretty much my staple blues place to visit and I consider this the blues version of Andy's Jazz Club - with engaging performers that even folks who don't listen to blues often should find entertaining.
Blue chicago has to be one of the best blues bars in the area the live music was amazing there was such talent. Drinks are very affordable and mixed very well. The bartender and waitresses are quick and amazing. I will be definitely be visiting blue chicago every time I'm in the area
I absolutely love visiting this spot for some good drinks and great music! I love the personal feel.
Great place had an awesome time here, small venue fills up fast, generates a great atmosphere.
Chicago blues at its finest. Great atmosphere, interesting crowd. Love it every time we go!
Perfect Live music. Drinks are not expensive. Performance and music was soooo NICE!
Enjoyed every second of being here. The $12 cover charge is well worth it. Non-stop funky good music. And ask for juice in your drink if u like, you won't taste it. They are definitely not stingy with the alcohol. I'm 37 and never liked blues until I visited this place. I will definitely be back.
Great resident band. Basic bar but gets the job done, the music is the main attraction. Definately show up early if you want a seat.
True Chicago blues bar with great energy. Nothing fancy; No fruit in your drinks. Great blues every night by a rotating mix of local band. Took 1 star away for having a tourist crowd and being a little pricey (both the cover charge and well drink prices). Would appreciate a lower weekday cover at least a couple days so locals could frequent regularly.
Cozy place with a Great vibe and blues music. Great place to visit if you're touring the city
Amazing blues bar! Would have got 5 stars but the stools and tables need to be replaced.
Wow wow wow this place has the most amazing music of any where I've been. $10 cover to get in the door but it is worth 50 I have to get in the door. And this was just for Wednesday night God knows what kind of music they have got going on there on the weekends
Nellie's Tiger's and Travis Oh My!
NTT was the headliner tonight and what a show! She's amazing. This bar is no frills, no food, no fricken excuse not to check out.
Drink Dance Debut.
F A N T A S T I C
Great music. Get there on time because it fills up. Drinks leave much to be desired.
This place stole my heart! Just wonderful! Have to pay cover charge, but it is so worth it. Live music, great, fun, cozy atmosphere, stiff drinks - you can find it all there.
Had a great time sitting at the bar listening to live blues on a Thursday night. Great vibe and incredible talent. Would definitely visit again when back in town.
My Favorite tourist trap in Chicago. Good music, fun vibe to watch out of towners try to dance to blues rock. No frills make it all the better.
In my opinion for sure in the top 3 jazz bar in the city. It is in a strategic spot in the loop and offers always high quality live music.
have to say that we were a by disappointed. we’re blues lovers but this wasn’t the best vibe, to be honest. went there on a Wednesday night and it seemed like the band playing didn’t give a damn. it’s a shamed because we were looking forward to hearing good chicago blues on a mythical place like this! hope this isn’t always the case!
Awesome"hole in the wall" bar with amazing live music. Cover was $12 on a Saturday night and the band said they had 2 more sets when we left at around 11:30pm. Varied crowd from fancy attire to people with Blackhawks jerseys that had come straight from the game. Either way, everyone was friendly, social, dancing and enjoying the band. Definitely a recommended place to hit up if in town
Amazing talent, Sheryl Youngblood!!! Highlight of our visit to Chicago. I would recommend this place to anyone who likes a small intimate venue where you can really hear and enjoy the band.
Love this bar. The band is always great. Like the best house party youll ever go to. Nick the bartender is awesome.
I love this place. Tuesday is my favorite day. Great music, simple and honest place. Great entertainment.
great music and atmosphere. definitely will go back. Just FYI, no food at all.
Old fashion premier service. Was very impressed with everything food Ambience and decor was Great but the staff were amazing. I had the Prime rib wow.
It is always a pleasure to spend the night there. The only problem is the closing time, it does not always correspond on what it is written online. We went there Saturday night at 00:30 and it was already closing; far away from 2 AM showed online
Amazing night here last Saturday. $12 cover charge but well worth it. Beers are about $5 a bottle of domestic. Sheryl youngblood was on and it was fantastic. We went about 11pm and they had already been on for 2hrs. They didn't finish until 2am. Was packed full and all members of the band had incredible talent. Not to be missed.
Skilled blues performers! Lots of talent. BUT.. Somebody tell the sound engineer to turn down the voice so we can hear the music! It was SO SO unbalanced. Delicate guitar riffs get lost. U have to fix that!
One of the best places to listen to blues. There is usually a cover for 10-15 dollars, depending on the day. I have not seen a bad performance to this day and I have been there about 6-7 times each time I visit Chicago
The music is great. Fun place to be. Difficult to get seats, usually on a Friday night. There's a cover charge of $11/15 I guess.
2018: Cover $12 totally worth it for amazing live blues. Great beer selection at fair prices. However Pinogrigio in a whisky tumbler is not stylish. Worth another visit.
For my first trip to Chicago I insisted on seeing a local blues bar and this is where everyone recommended. It was small and perfect. Exactly everything I wanted it to be. The band was fantastic and everyone in the bar was happy and having a great time. I really enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone visiting Chicago that loves blues music
I requested Bartender to make a girl drink for my wife. She is not a drinker, he could not recommended anything or make anything. He say " You have to be more specific" normally any real bartender makes something upon request. The band is made up of senior citizens. Overall great atmosphere.
Cute little place. Great Blues. Cover on Saturday $12.00 with a 2 drink minimum, I found reasonable. Basic bar drinks and beers. If you like love Blues in a smaller setting, this a place for you.
If your are looking for authenticity, this is it. Top spot for live blues music. The decor is original. Nothing fancy or trying to be modern. Pure authentic; it’s getting rare to find especially in River North. Affordable drinks too. Bring cash for the cover charge.
Come Thursday nights for live Chicago blues music and pay a modest cover. Menu is limited but then you don't go there for the drinks and food. A beer or two, or a whiskey or two, will help you appreciate the music without the distractions of fancy food and cutlery.
This was such a cool bar! The music was completely legit. Granted, it was mostly white folk in this clearly traditionally black bar, but I didn't think that took anything a way from the quality of the music or the feeling that you were sitting in a piece of music history. Plus the drinks were fairly affordable, relatively speaking, which was pretty nice. The cover charge was a bit steep, though.
Love this place. Down to earth, always great bands, musicians and singers. A bit annoying only, that there are spots in the bar where they don't let you stand. They say it is for the waitress to get through... pretty much "it's the law"- style as the waitresses do get through even on the fully packed dance floor. Not very guest minded, who are paying to get in (on weekends) and want to feel the rythm...
The Mike Wheeler band was fantastic. Each musician - acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard - all masters. Each was engaging with the audience. Service was friendly and efficient. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Good Blues music for relatively cheap 10$ cover. However prepare to have some cash on you. Was a bit of a disappointment that you couldn't pay cover sum with a card and minimum purchase with card for drinks was 20$. That was a bit shady, it's 2018
Very fun blues club. No frills, just drinks and live music. Impressed by the acoustics, but not the HVAC. Band that played was phenomenal. Great time.
Can't recommend highly enough. The music was great. The bartender was awesome and attentive to his customers. Prices were reasonable. Cool, relaxed ambiance. Don't think twice, go! A good time was had by all.
Such an authentic place! Great musicians, homelike atmosphere and fairly priced drinks. We're coming back 👍
We love Blue Chicago!Great Blues, super-friendly place! The blues community is made of warm big hearts!
Great music. Crowd felt pretty touristy though. YMMV.
Amazing singers and musicians. The crowd is pretty touristy, but the music is the real thing. I'll go again.
An unbelievable "in your face" blues experience. You can feel the power of the music running through your veins!
This is a don’t miss, come as you are, tried & true Blues joint. Amazing tunes in an intimate atmosphere with great drinks and room to dance.
Great atmosphere! The music and drinks were great. I definitely will be returning!
Love. Love. Love. Found this place while walking around and was pleasantly surprised! Blues band was amazing. Crowd was great. Staff was friendly. Will return again!!!!
Blue Chicago just doesn't *mess around*! The music is always phenomenal and the energy there is great! We saw Mike Wheeler Band with Demetria Taylor. Few bands seem to have the best area drummer, best bassist, best keyboardist, best guitar (personal fave)- but MWB really DOES! The vocals were fantastic and Demetria was again raw and bright and earthy and beautiful...and brave that night- only a few days after the tragic loss of her brother, also a local blues gem. Mike is so funny and nearly every song was preceded by laughing! The band masterfully played every song- Chicago blues style at its best! People were dancing in the aisle, dancing everywhere! At the end, "Proud Mary" had everyone singing along and 2 dancers masterfully got the rest of the bar tapping along! All hell broke loose on "Car Wash"! Lol If you're on the fence about this place, GO!
Local blues bands. Just walk in and enjoy. Cover charge and one drink minimum. Worth it 🍸
No-nonsense, 'hole in the wall', dive-y blues bar with decently priced beverages (note no food available). Arrived Saturday night around 11:30pm and caught about an hour set of the excellent Sheryl Youngblood Blues Band. Was standing around the bar for a bit but managed to find a seat near the stage for most of the set. Recommended!
Fantastic blues club in the River North area in Chicago. We had a blast watching BTS Express with the amazing Shirley Johnson on the intimate corner stage.
Drinks only, but the service was excellent. The prices are cheap and these people work hard - don't forget to tip well!
Best experience for people who love the blues. Excellent music for a reasonable price. Cosy atmosphere, nice stuff. I will be back!
If you're looking for a good hole in the wall blue's bar down town, this will work. Great band and service was good. $10.00 cover per person.
A decent place to watch live Blues in Chicago. The staff are all that friendly however but you can still enjoy the music and the drink prices are very reasonable
Saw Sheryl Youngblood Blues Band. They were amazing. Service was good. Great experience.
Great place, a must if you are in the area. Great music, friendly people, fun times, life is good.
Had a great time last week here, totally worth the line, which I will add, moves quickly. I stopped in about 10pm, not an issue. Cover charge was about $12.00 per person.
Me and a group of friends went here randomly on my birthday while looks for Blues and we were absolutely blown away. Great live performance and an amazing energy. Highly recommend if you love blues and if you don’t love it already then this place will convince you.
Great blues joint, no frills just good music! No food just drinks! Tonight BTS Express with Shirley Johnson.
-Great old-school place to see some Chicago blues downtown.
-Opens at 8pm nightly and they have different blues bands each night.
-Bar is gritty and...read this and 205 more