We left town around noon and tore out of town. We arrived in Chicago around dinnertime, checked into our hotel near the airport, and then headed into town. We hadn’t counted on the ridiculously insane traffic, so we were near starvation when we finally arrived.
We’d planned on Kuma’s Corner, but there was a line out the door, so we chose Abbey Pub instead. Matt need to try their curry fries, anyway.
After eating and watching some baseball there, we headed over to give Kuma’s Corner a try. We were way too excited that they had Buffalo Trace (that’s bourbon, for those not in the know) on tap. The place was still insanely crowded, and at least 150 degrees inside, but it was still awesome. We managed to fight our way to the bar to order, and grabbed a couple of sittin’ spots on the front windowsill. We’d put our names in for a table, but decided to leave long before they came up. Before we left, though, we found this in the bathroom:
We decided to head down to Wicker Park, near Lauren’s work, so we could meet up with her when she was done at 1am. We found a spot after much searching, and then had to stop in to pick up a parking pass from her, because god forbid you just park on the streets in Chicago. The good thing was that we could leave the car there overnight, if necessary.
The streets in Wicker Park were crawling with a hipster infestation. Their numbers were kind of unbelievable. I’ve never seen so many kids who all look exactly alike while at the same time believing themselves to look very unique. We rushed through the thronging masses in search of the Violet Hour, which was owned by the same people who run Bradstreet 601 here in Minneapolis. It’s a bar known for very creative mixology and awesomeness, and we knew we could count on Bradstreet’s recommendation.
Having the address for the Violet Hour was no help; we realized that most likely it was the plain, windowless, whitewashed building with a single yellow light over the door, but we weren’t sure. We decided to go in anyway, and found a few people standing in a dark entryway, reading the rules for the place. They included things like ‘no cell phones’. There was dress code, too, though no one there was even close to fitting it. We didn’t, either, but we figured that must be ok.
The host came in shortly and grabbed Matt and I, the lucky party of two who got to go ahead of everyone else. He asked if the bar was OK, and obviously that was what we preferred anyway. The cocktail standards at the Violet Hour were definitely the same as Bradstreet, though it was a little disappointing that they were way too busy to have a conversation with any of the bartenders. That’s one of the best parts.
We left a bit later, and still had some time to kill before meeting Lauren. We decided that food was the best choice, given our current state, so she pointed us toward Flash Taco down the street. It was bad; slow, packed with hipsters, and the food was terrible. Based on about three hours of experience with it, we decided that Wicker Park sucked a lot. Regardless, I’m pretty sure we’re right.
Finally, Lauren was done with work. We met up with her there, and went to the nearest bar, directly across the street. The Flat Iron seemed to be an exception to Wicker Park’s lameness, or at least there were enough non-hipster people in the crowd there that it was tolerable. We had an awesome time.
Round about… well, I really have no idea. 3am? 4am? We walked Lauren back to her apartment, stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way. I think I ordered three beverages. Matt and Lauren had them some very patriotic donuts!
We made it back to the hotel after 5am, and crashed. It had been a very long day.