Hey. It’s me. Sorry you haven’t heard from me in a while. I’ve been busy chronicling the adventures (misadventures) of the MidSis and our cat on Snapchat. It’s pretty much a full time gig lately, though it’s too bad I don’t get shares of SNAP for this. But I do miss contributing to the project, so here I am. I was thinking to myself…..well, the NFL season is well over. Oscars are over. Game of Thrones is still a ways off (insert sword, wolf and sad face emojis here). Yes March Madness is close, but still – I definitely need some more stuff to do through these next couple months. And by stuff I mean activities that get me out of the house and center around drinking liquid stuff with alcohol. I’m sure some of you were impressed with yourselves, like I was by myself, for not drinking a few days in a row after the new year. Maybe you went a whole week or two. A whole month? Well then it’s time you celebrate that huge achievement. Come on, you know that wasn’t meant to last. Despite the recent February tornado warning we are still in winter and we need to pass the time somehow – and that somehow might as well involve some cocktailing. Even if you insist March 21st marks the beginning of spring, let me remind you that April is like the Donald Trump of months in terms of weather. No it’s not orange. But yes it is kind of batshit – you will have no idea what the hell you are going to get from one day to the next and never know what to believe. So my best advice is to not have to rely on it at all, especially for your drinking-related activities. A wise man once said, “It’s always 70 and clear in the bar.” Now I’m not just talking about your bar you go to all the time (as awesome I am sure it is). Let’s be a little creative here and see if we can’t have some semi-exciting things to do or see while you drink yourself responsibly through the day. So without further bullshit from me, here’s my list of nine better ways to get drunk indoors….
We already know you like going to your neighborhood bars or just rifling beers at home, but there are other options I promise you. Two of them are this Saturday. First is the Windy City BREWHAHA at Revel Fulton Market and their enthusiastic explanation is simply this: a celebration of beer! There will be two sessions: 1-4pm and 6-9pm, both sampling Chicago’s finest breweries (tickets $52 or $62 for VIP). The other is The Chicago Beer Festival at the Field Museum. This one features both international and domestic seasonal beers from over 70 breweries from 7-11pm (tickets $45 or $55 for VIP). You can conceivably do both in one day (insert that scary open-mouthed emoji with x’s for eyes).
I think the MidSis has mentioned this before, but I will reiterate. Now is actually the perfect time to visit Lagunitas. Once you step inside you literally will forget the outside world anyway, so makes sense for a shitty day. It’s just awesome and the food is pretty solid as well: pretzels with cheese, mussels, and bratwursts amongst other beer-related items. The short tour is definitely worth it. The place is just ginormous and they have many more beers than you realize. Their latest 7.7% Citrusinensis Pale Ale is available thru March. Done and done.
Whirlyball did a pretty major revamp with their newer city location (there’s also two more suburban locations). If you got the right crew, some folks who are half crazy and fairly competitive, this place can kill a day or night easily while you knock some back. It’s not just the three WhirlyBall courts that keep people busy, but 12 bowling lanes and a multi-level lasertag arena that accommodates up to 30 players at a time. I haven’t played lasertag since I showed up to an 8yr old birthday party wearing all neon (even in 1988 it was not a good idea), so this might be the year I avenge my sorry not sober self.
This is probably the classier/swankier version of the above. There’s been a lot of talk about Cindy’s Rooftop but the Game Room is the real hidden gem at the Chicago Athletic Association. It’s an adult gamer’s paradise with good food, great drinks and plenty of games including billiards tables, cards, checkers and chess tables, foosball, shuffleboard, and more. Oh and probably one of the nicest indoor full-sized bocce courts you will find. If you don’t eat there, then drunkenly grab a Shake Shack burger and fries downstairs.
I suck at golf. But still managed to have a good time at TopGolf the few times I have been. That should say something. I imagine that’s the idea. Definitely check it out if you haven’t been. It’s golf, with the usual drinking, but more entertaining and with less the frustration. Definitely need a designated driver or Uber for this one.
Let’s say you don’t want to do any activities. You want to do next to nothing and just relax and recharge somewhere that isn’t your home. Check out Red Square, the co-ed Russian bathhouse in Wicker Park that was newly remodeled a few years ago. I swear it’s not nearly as creepy as you’re thinking. On the guys side there is a big hot tub, wet sauna, steam room, polar plunge, and a relaxed sitting area with TV’s. There is another co-ed sitting room and dry sauna as well. In the wet sauna there are buckets that you fill with water and dump on your head to cool off – the best. For $30 you can use all these amenities and stay as long as you want (not overnight you creeps – well maybe). They also added a full bar/restaurant upstairs, along with tanning, scrub and other salon services. You can order beers/drinks to the downstairs sitting rooms at any time by randomly placed phones which is a nice bonus. Last time I walked into three friends of mine sitting in robes getting their feet rubbed by some Ukrainian/Russian women while drinking vodka sodas. I can’t even explain the jealousy I felt. It’s a good place to go on a day off, or whenever you have an hour or 4 to kill. You will for sure leave there feeling incredible with a good chance of being a little lit. It’s lit. Go.
We all need to laugh a little more, right? So many internet beefs and political memes are now bogging down our everyday lives. Rather than bickering, why not sit back and be entertained – have yourself a night of not taking our sorry lives too seriously. There’s several ways you can accomplish this. Check out Improv Olympic or Zanies schedules and maybe see an up-and-coming funny person. There are also comedy open mics, and shit, if you think you funny (Second Sister I am looking directly at you) then get your ass up there. If you still want a little dose of politics with your humor then Second City has a show called Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno, which will surely poke holes into the state of our fine nation. Did I mention you can drink delicious alcoholic beverages at all these places? Well you can, and you should. Life’s too short dammit.
We’ve discussed Jazz before – Jazz Fest remember? That fest you never go to, even though I keep reminding you. You never listen to me. Maybe cause I’m getting old – I just find it boring sometimes just doing dinner and drinks. There is something about mixing jazz into your night that can take it to the next level, like going from a Coors Light to a really good Manhattan. A good jazz club gives you a glimpse into this other world you may not have known existed – you feel like an adult who is somehow doing something that is genuinely very cool without being so damn trendy, while witnessing something timeless at the same time – good live jazz. Yet, it’s always different and comes in many shapes and sizes. And yes – a Manhattan or any drink will pair with this experience no matter what. La La Land may have lost at the Oscars, but it’s ok. You can keep Gosling’s jazz dream alive by doing yourself a favor and spicing up one your typical nights out by visiting any one of these fine establishments: Andy’s Jazz Club, Jazz Showcase, Winter’s Jazz (new), Green Mill, and for later nights The California Clipper (not always jazz but always a good time).
Well, you think you’re a little fancier than the rest of us huh? You would like to get slightly hammered but not just come out and say it. That’s ok. When I get that urge I make it about the food, and you know – if I wind up wasted then ok that was kind of an accident I did on purpose while I ate something really good. Good thing our great city offers so many ways to do this. Go to some of our great BYOB places to sample an incredible menu and be able to crack some of good bottles of anything along the way: Ruxbin, Yuzu, Briciola, HB Bistro, Kai Zan, or Butcher & The Burger to name a few standouts. I’ve also been “working” on a ramen blog for the last year (which the sisters rightfully rip on me for) and you can definitely get a headstart on that by grabbing some big bottles of Asahi and going right to Wasabi (also BYOB) and enjoying one of the best ramens in the city. Go up to Little Bad Wolf in Andersonville which has some really amazing food but also a really extensive beer list and a ton of whiskeys. You can also check out a place like Moody Tongue, a new “Michelin-minded” brewery concept in Pilsen where you pair their beers (which they pretty much consider food) with only German chocolate cake and fresh daily oysters. Now come on, if that doesn’t sound pretentiously awesome I can’t help you anymore.
The point is – get out there and try something different. The weather might be shaky as hell, you may hate your husband/wife and kids or just your dickhead cat, or you’ve reached the end of Netflix (is there an end?), or your neighborhood bar is sick of you, but sometimes you just hate the thought of staying home one more night and need to live a little and have some good old fashioned fun (preferably with an old-fashioned in hand). Good thing is – when the the mood strikes there are plenty of innovative ways to get it done. There’s hope. Sometimes you may need a group of friends, but many times you just need that one like-minded ol’ pal who is in the same boat as you. And if you need one – just let me know. I am always down for some adult gaming activities, a non-creepy vodka sauna session, or just good food (and 1-12 drinks). As I write that I am also reminding myself to write DRINK RESPONSIBLY YOU JACKASSES. Ok I’m done. BYE.
While I’m at it, I don’t intend to necessarily be sober the whole time either.