Lakeview Lounge

originally posted on Metroblogging Chicago

Tip's for Band

We just got back from a sad event -- the last night of the Lakeview Lounge. The Lakeview Lounge was my favorite dive bar, a dark long room in Uptown ("there ain't no lake and there ain't no view," Joe would say) lit mainly by strings of holiday lights. The distinguishing quality (other than its proximity to my old house) of the Lakeview Lounge was Nightwatch, the three-man band who played Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and had been doing so for 18 years. The place was so small that Nightwatch were on a small platform behind the bar, and when drunk ladies wanted to dance with the band they had to come behind the bar to do so.

Evidently, the Lakeview has fallen victim to the same-old-same-old -- rising rents (and no public outcry to save them). Despite rumors of a new location down on Lawrence, the bartender tonight told me that there was no plans to move anywhere. My roommate had heard it was going to be a big party tonight, but it was pretty quiet when I was there*. Maybe most people were feeling like I was -- I stayed for an hour and had a free drink and took a bunch of pictures, but eventually I had to leave because I was getting too sad. I loved that place -- the wood paneling, and the handwritten signs, and Nightwatch's Johnny Cash covers (and the way they'd never finish a Hendrix song), and the old lady bartenders, and the Syrian food on Joe's birthday every year. Oh, and the dart board -- I played the best game of darts in my life on that dart board.

Damn, I'm getting all misty-eyed again.