Alice’s Lounge (Bar, Logan Square)

Location: 3558 W. Belmont
Phone: (773) 478-5975
Hours: Mon-Fri 3 p.m. – 4 a.m.; Sat noon- 5 a.m.; Sun noon- 4 a.m.

I approach the maroon awning on the corner of Drake and Belmont Ave. around midnight. All I see are 20-somethings holding their beer of choice in one hand and pumping their other fists in the air. All heads point to the side wall, where a plaid-laden white dude is belting “Don’t Stop Believin’” into the microphone. Everyone in the place, bartender included, is singing and cheering on their new friend. This is Alice’s Lounge, the premier karaoke spot in Logan Square and an under-acknowledged watering hole in Chicago.

For most of the week, Alice’s Lounge is a friendly neighborhood bar with a welcoming crowd, a dart board (not enough bars have those anymore), and cheap beer — the average price for a draft is three dollars. But from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights this popular corner bar becomes an amateur singer’s showcase. And with the right combination of Jameson shots and Car Bombs, it’s an American Idol stage. Well, the audition stage anyway.

Schlitz, PBR, and Miller High Life are the standard beer specials here. And Alice’s is also one of the few places to serve Polish beer. You can get PBR at any dive, right? The wood-paneled walls, juke box, and long bar contribute to the old-time atmosphere. If I lived in this neighborhood, Alice’s Lounge would be the Cheers to my Norm. Instead it’s an occasional treat.

My first time here was for a friend’s birthday party one summer. The day he told me about the karaoke, I made it my mission to belt out “Livin’ on a Prayer.” And around 2 a.m. the messy mission was accomplished. I was greeted with hugs and high fives by friendly (intoxicated) strangers after. Needless to say, you’re sure to leave Alice’s with some new pals. And if you don’t have an 80’s power tune in mind, you can flip through their book of songs. They’ve got everything from Gloria Gayner to Depeche Mode — an intense rendition of “Enjoy the Silence” will likely earn you a drink by an admirer, by the way.

If you can’t make it on karaoke nights, there’s still a reason to stop by. Have a date? Challenge your girl to a game of pool. Can’t get a date? Challenge your lonely self to an arcade game. Or just meet friends for a chill afternoon in a low-key spot. Whatever the reason, Alice’s Lounge is worth a visit.

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About Cheryl Thomas

Cheryl grew up in rural northern Indiana, where everyone is somehow related to a farmer and horse and buggy stations are in the Wal-Mart parking lots. She moved to Chicago a few months after graduating from IU and has since fallen hopelessly in love with the city. She likes trying new deep dish places, exploring used bookstores and dive bars, chatting with strangers on public transit, and all sorts of writing - especially fiction and playwriting.

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