Welcome to 2019, Logan Square! You may feel that you got all your partying, your merry-making, your drinking of spirits out of the way in the
Here are our picks for the best things going on each week in the neighborhood this month, as well as a few choices for a few nearby
New Year’s Day: Nacho Bloody Nacho @ Logan Arcade, 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Logan Arcade (2410 W. Fullerton Ave.) has your New Year’s Day hangover cure covered—covered in rich, gooey nacho (imitation) cheese. The
Friday, Jan. 4: Fess Grandiose @ Emporium Logan Square, 10 p.m. doors
Describing the local hip-hop producer as “a big player in the local beat scene,” the Reader also recently called Fess Grandiose a potential superstar in the “beats to study/chill/relax” realm. You may not get much studying done at Emporium Logan Square (2363 N. Milwaukee Ave.)—though, you never know—but it should be a good, chill dancey time amidst the pinball clatter and arcade bleeps.
If you like this show, also check out “Open Beats,” a sort of open-mic night for hip-hop producers, hosted by Fess. That’s every third Friday at Cafe Mustache (2313 N. Milwaukee Ave.), or Jan. 18 at 9 p.m.
BONUS All Winter: New Winter Cocktails @ Scofflaw
As one of the neighborhood’s most venerable cocktail spots teased late December, Scofflaw (3201 W. Armitage Ave.) has a tasty new winter drink menu. The new
Sunday, Jan. 6: First Farmers Market 2019, Emporium Logan Square, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Come get some nice, vitamin-filled produce to help flush out all those toxins from the holiday revelry. This will be the first Logan Square indoor farmers market of 2019, but you know the drill: 35-some local food and farm vendors serving up treats and cruciferous things, all while you navigate the arcade games of Emporium (some of which are available to play). Drinks, including bloody Marys) at the bar and live music from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 8: Aldermanic Forum (1st, 32nd, 35th Wards) @ Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Hosted by Logan Square Preservation, this forum will give Logan-area residents a bit more information to decide their votes before the Feb. 26 aldermen elections (coming up soon!). The event will present alderman candidates from Wards 1, 32 and 35—all of which contain parts of Logan Square.
Hear from the 35th’s current alderman, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and his challenger, Amanda Yu Dieterich; current 1st Ward Alderman “Proco” Joe Moreno and his challenger, Daniel La Spata; and the 32nd Ward’s Alderman Scott Waguespack, who will debate an empty chair (probably not, but he’s running unopposed). This local political rumble goes down at Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church (2614 N. Kedzie Avee), also known as Minnekirken. Free to attend.
Saturday, Jan. 12: Drunk Spelling Bee @ The Native, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Bars and other venues have (correctly, in my opinion) realized that you can turn just about any childhood activity into a fun thing for young adults by adding booze. See, for example, board games in bars, cartoons with beer, and sugary cereal at the theater. What’s next? Cocktails and nap time? (Not a bad idea, actually…) But, really, though, what’s next is the Drunk Spelling Bee at The Native (2417 N. Milwaukee Ave.). It’s just what it sounds like: You drink, throw in $5 for the charity fundraiser, and compete in a round-robin-style spelling tournament. You can donate an extra $1 to charity to buy into the next round if your orthographic skills fail you. Proceeds go to Donors Choose, which helps public school teachers raise money for classroom supplies.
Wednesday, Jan. 16: Alcoholics Synonymous “Inherent Vice” Discussion, @ Heavy Feather, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
A little more on the grown-up side of activities that have found new homes in bars: book clubs. Here’s a fairly new one in Alcoholics Synonymous, which comes to you from the Bucket O’ Blood (3182 N. Elston Ave.) book and record store. The series hosts book discussions at various bars in the neighborhood. This, their third outing, investigates Thomas Pynchon’s take on the detective novel, “Inherent Vice.” Appropriate to the novel’s 1970s L.A. setting, this meet-up takes place in Heavy Feather’s (2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.) ’70s-era “fern bar” environs.
Friday, Jan. 18: Good Bands at Cool Bar @ Reed’s Local (Avondale), 8 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.
Pretty straightforward. The cool bar, in this case, is Reed’s Local (3017 W. Belmont Ave.), a classic Avondale dive, and the bands include a personal favorite:
Saturday, Jan. 19: Onesie Bar Crawl, Logan Square, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Now, I can’t exactly recommend this as something I would want to do myself (like, at all). But for those into things like the Santa Crawl, it might have a certain level of appeal. (For the rest of you, consider this a heads-up that maybe you want to hang out somewhere else on the 19th.) It’s certainly a unique use of Logan Bars. Head out with your onesie pajamas one and get really drunk so that the other people also wearing their pajamas become your new best friends. You’ll get things like drink specials, a Onesie Bar Crawl mug, and an LED pacifier, if you’re into that sort of thing. Bar list to be announced.
Jan. 20– 26
Sunday, Jan. 20: Robot Riot @ Emporium Wicker Park, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
It’s a few stops down the Blue Line at Emporium Wicker Park (1366 N. Milwaukee Ave), but I think a short train ride’s worth it to WATCH ROBOTS FIGHT! Eventually AI will take all of our jobs shortly before killing all humans, as we all know and accept, but for now, we can enjoy cute, little tabletop robots wrestling one another for the robot equivalent of a championship belt (a drive belt?). There will even be loaner ‘bots for you to pilot should you lack a robot of your own (but, really, why don’t you have a robot of your own yet?).
Thursday, Jan. 24: Fantastic Beers and Where to Find Them @ Emporium Logan Square, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Back at our home-base Emporium, January brings a celebration of a book and film series that I guess a few people are into. This event dips way into the “Harry Potter” universe with the release of Central State Brewing’s Polyjuice Potion beer, described as “a sour brew concocted with plums, elderberries, and magical bits and bobbles.”
There’ll also be a Potter costume ball and “the second bi-annual Quidditch Pong World Cup.” There’s no way I’ll out-Potter-reference the event’s original description: “Hop on your Nimbus2000, use the
Saturday, Jan. 26: A Wicker Park Seance: Nelson Algren @ Volumes Bookcafe (Wicker Park), 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Back down the Blue Line, with a potential side-trek into the spirit realm, Volumes Bookcafe (1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.) is hosting a celebration of Chicago writer Nelson Algren. Best known for the novel “The Man with the Golden Arm,” Algren “wrote gritty, urban tales such as, ‘How the Devil Came Down Division Street,’ a barroom debate over who is the neighborhood’s biggest drunk,” as described by the Tribune, which runs the Nelson Algren Literary Awards for short stories. This event, brought to you by Atlas Obscura Chicago, will celebrate Algren and his time living and writing in Wicker Park, and will “attempt to contact Algren in the afterlife.”
Sunday, Jan. 27: Tom Hunt Chicago Signing @ City Lit Books, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thriller writer Tom Hunt comes to Logan’s fine City Lit bookstore (2523 N. Kedzie Blvd.) for the Chicago signing of his new work, “One Fatal Mistake.” The novel, Hunt’s second after “Killer Choice,” explores what happens when an 18-year-old is involved in a hit-and-run, leading to a string of violent encounters, including with the dangerous Shane. “Hunt tackles questions of morality and family loyalty along the way to the exciting finale, and Shane is a truly terrifying villain,” Publishers Weekly wrote.
Monday, Jan. 28: Game Night @ Cafe Mustache, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Cafe Mustache’s mix of comfy coffee-shop atmosphere and unique bar events comes together with the venue’s regular Game Night. Bring some buds, order a few drinks and play one of the several board games the cafe has on hand (or bring your own!). I’ve always been particularly interested in their Rodney Dangerfield game, though I’ve not yet played it.
Thursday, Jan. 31: XOXOXO Speed Dating for Gay Men @ Logan Theater, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Maybe your New Year’s resolutions include finding new love—or at least meeting some cool new folks. Project VIDA, which works to reduce health disparities, hosts this monthly speed-dating event for gay men at Logan Theater (2646 N. Milwaukee Ave). “Get to know and interact with other attendees and enjoy some amazing conversations all while eating good food and having fun,” the event’s host say. $10, or free with an HIV/STI screening.
Remember we have a calendar with daily events happening around the neighborhood if you want more options and more days to keep you busy!
Featured photo: Logan Arcade. Photo: Peter Nelson