DRNK 101: A UIC Freshman’s Guide to Bars on Taylor Street
Syllabus Week is here and arriving with it are hordes of freshmen off to college in the big city. Chicago is a big place and the best way to learn your way around is a college student’s favorite pastime: drinking. Before you get lost in the maze of River North clubs, it’s probably a good idea to get to know your local watering holes on Taylor Street.
5.) Hawkeye’s Bar & Grill:
Hawkeye’s Bar & Grill is the farthest down Taylor from UIC’s East Campus and is Taylor Street’s premier “sports bar.” Hawkeye’s does a great job showing important events across all sports, although it primarily markets towards Blackhawks fans. While on the pricier side of the “college budget” for alcohol, Hawkeye’s offers daily specials to accommodate the nonexistent funds of most college students, the most enticing of which is the Thursday special: $2 sliders and $1 12oz cans of Hamm’s, if you can stomach it.
4.) Vintage Lounge:
By far the “clubbiest” atmosphere on Taylor Street. Vintage Lounge boasts vintage-looking décor with a VIP lounge and a killer DJ sound system. Circa-2014 Vintage was the place to be on a Thursday night for UIC’s Greek life community, as it is the only bar on Taylor that offers bottle service — a great way for frat stars to show off how much money their parents give them each week. Falling prey to the same trap as Hawkeye’s, Vintage is on the pricier side of booze, generally leading to an older crowd unless there is a big sporting event.
3.) Drum & Monkey:
A small dive a few blocks from UIC’s main campus; Drum & Monkey is exactly what you’d expect from a college bar: loud music, cheap drinks, and bar games. Drum & Monkey is a great undergrad bar on the weekends, featuring a house DJ spinning today’s hits. The real draw for this gem, however, turns the focus to something no other bar on the strip has: shuffleboard. Contrary to popular belief, shuffleboard is one of the most competitive drinking games you can play, mostly due to the fact that the pucks slide much farther on sand than you’d expect.
2.) The Bar 10 Doors:
The Bar 10 Doors has been the premier spot for the Thursday night Greek Life crowd for years. Featuring a Bud Light pitcher deal and a lenient ID policy, 10 Doors has a bustling undergrad crowd every Thursday night. On Thursdays it’s a guarantee that there will be girls crying in the women’s bathroom and vomit in the men’s.
1.) Little Joe’s:
Little Joe’s is the closest bar to campus on Taylor Street, literally across the street from UIC. As such, it has the largest undergrad patronage of any bar on this list. The drinks here are the biggest bang for your buck on Taylor Street and with 50% off on Monday nights the prices can’t be beat. Monday night is their standout night; the fun usually starts around 10p.m. with the bar frequently reaching capacity by 11:30. The drinks are always flowing and, for $2 a piece on Mondays, it is the busiest bar on the street. Little Joe’s is a destination for all students; from frat stars to computer nerds, everyone steps foot in Little Joe’s at least once before graduation.