Cobra Lounge (Bar, West Loop)

Location: 235 N. Ashland Ave., West Loop
Phone: 312.226.6300

Cobra Lounge is the line between punk and grunge, distinguishing you don’t have to be dirty or unpolished to be a bad ass. For an establishment that’s technically in the West Loop, this place is as isolated as it gets on the industrial segment of Ashland. It offers parking despite the abundance of street space, but it’s likely just there so you don’t park your car where the motorcycles are supposed to go. Adjust your eyes upon entering, this is a bonafied “dark bar” with wallows of red to illuminate the corners. The big bar top has a thousand crude images carved into its exterior but it’s as smooth as laminated silk. The tenders and patrons were smothered in tattoos before it was a common bar theme, giving you a good idea of what miscreants hide out under this black velvet skirt. They have a full back room for shows that they’ll never charge you a dime to see, most of the bands and performances carrying a profanity in their name. For a place that’s so hidden and terrifying, the people here are kind and outgoing. Ah well, no place is perfect.


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David Frankel McLean

About David Frankel McLean

I’ve been thinking philosophically about Chicago since I was jaywalking the streets at the age of 10. I don’t root for both baseball teams and I don’t put Ketchup on my hot dogs. When someone says they’re a Chicagoan they are speaking of a heritage and a doctrine, not just a location. What that doctrine is I’m not entirely sure, it’s constantly changing with the growth of the city and I’ll spend my entire life trying to figure it out.

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