It’s no secret that the Taylor Street bar scene has taken a major hit this semester. Who knows if it’s the sudden responsibility of UIC students, professors beginning to give more work, or UIC students finally realizing that the bars on Taylor Street are meant for patrons 40 and over. Whatever the reason may be, we’ve compiled a list of bars and clubs to attend all over the city as you wait for your actual 21st birthday to arrive. We’ll spare you the pain of walking to 10 Doors every Thursday for the same lackluster crowd and deals.
If you’re tired of spending your time near UIC, seeing the same people, and want to burn through the weekly cash your mom gives you, then Shay could be the spot for you. Making underage patrons feel like they’re in a real club, Shay will let anyone with an ID in as long as they slip the bouncer a 20 and have an ID that reads 21 and kind of resembles a person of the same gender. Big plus, Shay is practically next to Rock n Roll McDonalds, so even if you get turned away (yeah, right) you can always grab a McDouble before your sad commute back the Blue Line.
4.) Mad River:
Located luxuriously across the street from an Enterprise rental car depot, Mad River is the hardest establishment to get into without actually being 21, Mad River offers the adult vibe of drinking without the suffocating fog and douchbaggery of clubs. Look at this place as a bigger Little Joe’s with more frat stars. If you head over on a Thursday, look out for wristband deals and for only $20 you can drink yourself into forgetting about that failed exam or how your boyfriend went to The Drum & Monkey instead because he’s not a girl, and bouncers actually care about his ID.
3.) Tobacco Road:
The first of the trio of bars on Lincoln Avenue, AKA the Taylor Street of DePaul. A relatively new place around the city, Tobacco Road offers the two things that all students are looking for: a place to drink and practically no policy on IDs. With a small dive bar feel on the bottom floor and a club like vibe on the second floor, Tobacco Road offers the best of both worlds to UIC students trying to escape getting creeped on by old Italians in Little Joe’s.
2.) Max Bar/Bamboo Lounge:
The second bar on our Lincoln Avenue tour, given two names because no one really knows what its real name is, Max Bar/Bamboo Lounge is the go-to place for students continuing their night after 2a.m. instead of hopping in the Uber to ride back to the safety of Little Italy. This place offers a small bar in the front and club scene in the back. Although, the back club part look like a Laser-X, there are no 10-year-olds running about, only 19-and-20-year-olds whose IDs passed the “scan test” they seem to run all IDs through.
1.) LA Social:
The granddaddy of all the bars for underagers, the perfect fit for anyone who doesn’t have money but wants to pretend they do, the 10 Doors of DePaul. LA Social boasts fog machines, dark blue and purple lights, and bottle service to its patrons. Often referred to as “LA,” Lincoln Avenue Social is typically the first place UIC students test their shitty IDs outside of the Taylor Street bars. With $3 Vegas Bombs and $1 tequila shots, LA Social reigns supreme in bringing in broke college kids who want their Snapchat followers at corn field schools to think that they go to real clubs. Protip: don’t tell any girls there that you’re from UIC or they will instantly look at you like you are a literal piece of garbage.