Kingston Mines (Blues Bar & Restaurant, Lincoln Park)

Location: 2548 N. Halsted
Phone: (773) 477-4646
Music: Blues
Cuisine: BBQ
Reservations: Books private parties
Kingston Mines is it, as far as blues in Chicago is concerned. Given the city’s blues history, that’s a pretty lofty statement, one that Kingston Mines almost effortlessly earns. With two stages featuring some of Chicago’s best performers playing until 4am every night (5 on Saturday), they’ve got quantity nailed. For quality, check out some of the regulars at the Mines, like Joanna Connor, who tears the house down on a weekly basis. It’s not unusual to see someone play like it’s the last set of their lives and love every second of it.

Located just a short distance from the Fullerton Red and Brown line stops, Kingston Mines offers free admission for college students and faculty (with a valid ID) Sunday through Thursday. The large bar has a drink for just about any palate, with nightly bucket specials for groups (or the very serious drinker). The cover usually ranges from $12-16 and is always well worth it. While you can’t bring food in, you are more than encouraged to check out Doc’s Rib Joint, located in the back of the bar (just left of the Pacman machine) for some of the best pulled-pork North of Mississippi. The menu features a variety of other southern favorites like southern fried okra, rib tips and candied yams.

Long story short, go to Kingston Mines. Go if you’re looking for an authentic blues experience. Go if you need a drink. Go if you need some food. Just go.


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Gene Wagendorf III

About Gene Wagendorf III

Gene is a writer who has spent his entire quarter century of life as a resident of Chicago. When not exploring the city he can be found wandering flea markets and garage sales or having a cigarette between classes at Northeastern Illinois University, where he hopes to acquire a degree in the next quarter century. His favorite smells are old books and bowling alleys. His poetry (how embarrassing!) can be found in issues of Kill Poet, Ditch, Word Riot, O Sweet Flowery Roses and Vowel Movements.

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