Music is never just background noise. It sets the tone. True for plate appearances, true for weddings. And definitely true for bars, where nothing will drive patrons home faster than a juke box zero. Below, three new drinking establishments that’ll provide the right soundtrack for your next great night out.
Henry’s Rec Room | River North
The vibe: Opens tonight. A rock ‘n’ roll speakeasy below Henry’s Swing Club. Low-lit. Disco ball. There’s also a dance floor. You know what to do.
The music: Free — yes, free — jukebox spinning 45s. They’ve got everything from Led Zeppelin to The Supremes on the sheets. Go with “Dancing in the Dark.” Proceed to dance like Springsteen.
The poison: Hand-bottled carbonated cocktails. The Margarita will loosen ‘ya up.
Tack Room | Pilsen
The vibe: The newest addition to the Pilsen funhouse, which also includes Thalia Hall, Dusek’s and Punch House. Small, modern piano bar. Opens up to a relaxed sidewalk patio.
The music: Live piano players Thursday, Friday and Saturday night pounding out everything from the Cheers theme to Beyoncé covers.
The poison: Tack Room Buck (menu here), a proper summertime sipper with bourbon and housemade carrot and ginger beer.
The Heavy Feather | Logan Square
The vibe: A rocking, lay-low 1970s den above Slippery Slope. Sunken bar with loungers and vintage jeweled light fixtures that give the room a fuzzy sepia glow. At least one taxidermied bear.
The music: The Eagles. Bee Gees. Lionel Richie. Groovy ‘70s tunes to the max, man.
The poison: Grasshopper. Consider it dessert: ice cream and Hennessy VS Cognac with crème de menthe and crème de cacao.