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Top 10 Best Nightclubs in Chicago [Updated 2023]

Chicago is an absolutely fantastic city that is very young and lively. It also provides some top tier nightlife. We took the liberty to pick our top 10 best clubs in Chicago for you to enjoy in the windy city.

The city of Chicago has long been known for its late-night clubs and entertainment venues. In the 1980s, DJs Ron Hardy and Frankie Knuckles began spinning a new strain of disco music built from bass and drum machines in Chicago clubs, establishing the city as a hub of dance culture and the birthplace of house music. While you can no longer bust a move inside these most legendary Chicago nightclubs, a new crop of late-night destinations has stepped up to make sure the music and dancing never stops. Whether it’s the jam-packed season of summer music festivals or winter in Chicago, these dance clubs keep electronic acts and talented DJs on stage late into the night. If you’re looking for spots with crowded dance floors, energetic soundtracks and attractive clientele, hop into the queue at some of the best nightclubs and dance clubs in Chicago.

To keep up with the constantly changing Chicago party scene, as well as find the perfect fit for you, you can use the free Discotech app to search nightclub events by date, buy tickets, sign up for guestlists, or even reserve tables if you’re feeling super-fancy.


Crowded dance floor at LIV Miami Fontainbleau
Tao gives you dinner and a show with their exclusive restaraunt and nightclub

TAO Chicago is located by the city’s historic River North stone castle that dates back to the late 1800s. This nightclub opened its doors in 2018, letting guests into its spacious nightclub and restaurant hybrid space. At TAO you’ll find the structure transformed into a multi-level lounge, restaurant, and separate adjoining nightclub by the hard work and design of Rockwell Group. It’s two floors also contain four private dining rooms and a large bar. A grand staircase connects TAO’s ground and lower level seating, creating the ultimate platform to see and be seen. The custom staircase includes round banquettes and Chinese daybed-influenced sofas.

TAO Chicago draws heavy inspiration from the brand’s other locations of TAO New York, TAO Las Vegas, and TAO Los Angeles. As in its New York location, a 20-foot tall Quan Yin statue stands atop a koi pond; using 3D projection mapping technology, Rockwell Group’s LAB designed subtle animations bring this signature statue to life. TAO Chicago has a capacity of 1,000+ and its nightclub can function as two separate rooms or one large one, with a removable wall. At the periphery of the club, guests can find secluded booths where they can enjoy some rest and respite from the intensity of the club and its crowd. When going to TAO, dress to impress as this venue is a celebrity hotspot and you might catch the likes of Kourtney Kardashian, Taraji P. Henson, or Chicago Cubs players inside.


prysm chicago dance floor
You have to experience the energy of this place for yourself to truly understand it

Prysm is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood just minutes outside downtown Chicago. The club is known as one of Chicago’s top-rated hybrid venues and allows its guests to experience live music acts, private special events, and nightclub performances. The massive venue is 10,000 square feet and consists of three distinct spaces: the Main Room, the Mezzanine, and the Champagne Lounge which is also known as No.9 to its more regular patrons.  (Please note that the Main Room and Mezzanine features EDM music, and the Champagne Lounge has a hip hop DJ, so there is always something for everyone in a sense.)

An unrivaled guest experience awaits partygoers with a perfect blend of concierge service and unforgettable energy. As they take in the state-of-the art sound and lighting, as well as a 20 square feet LED wall, they are delivered an unparalleled multi-media experience which can be tailored towards the guests’ specific needs.  With a total capacity of 850, PRYSM can host a range of group sizes, providing both intimate atmospheres for smaller groups, and big room ambiance for large scale events. Designated music-driven theme nights and top talent ensure there’s always a party. Late nights, great nights.


View from the DJ at Story Miami
Luxurious and sleek, MASQ is a perfect spot for bottle service

Located on the third floor of the luxurious and suave Hubbard Inn near River North, Masq is a lounge with an artistically driven, theatre-inspired throwback feel. The space is decorated in the dual tones of black and white with dramatic velvet furnishings adding to the lounge’s mysterious and enthralling vibe. At Masq, patrons can enjoy a variety of cocktails and an excellent selection of bottle service. If they wish to change up the mood, they can go downstairs to the Blue Violet mixology-driven lounge which features even more creative and outlandish drink options in a garden themed menu or they can enjoy the delectable food options on executive Chef Babula’s menu on the first floor which is more reminiscent of Hubbard Inn before its revamp and remodel.

Bounce Sporting Club

Mixing the best of both world’s – bottle service and sports

Based off of the iconic Bounce Sporting Club in New York, Bounce Sporting Club Chicago is a massive clubhouse where guests can come to enjoy amazing American cuisine,a variety of brew, and watch plenty of games from its numerous television screens that line the walls of the main room. If the busy and energetic nature of a sports club is a little too rowdy for you when you want to enjoy the Superbowl or other final games, Bounce also offers a private dining room that you can book for you and your friends private game day party. And if you are here more to party than actually take in what’s happening on the screens, Bounce’s beautiful spacious rooftop setting will be more your speed. Whatever mood you’re in, Bounce is ready to provide excellent service. The venue also has a resident DJ and a bouncer, making Bounce truly live up to all aspects of its name.

Enjoy the innovative and whimsical spins on American classics like bone-in wings in a large variety of flavors including maple bacon and Hot Cheetos, house-smoked wagyu brisket “skins,” blackened mahi tacos, pizza disco fries (house fries, marinara, mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni), Cap’n Crunch-crusted chicken nuggets and even fried mac ‘n cheese bars. This is just some of the delicious food on Bounce’s amazing menu which also include options like the works burger (custom beef blend, tomato confit, gruyere, applewood bacon, fried egg, arugula and secret sauce) the French onion soup burger and entrées like 28-day dry-aged New York strip, beer-braised short rib and charred cauliflower “steak.” The fun doesn’t stop there, and the desserts are truly where Bounce puts out all the stops, making gargantuan dishes including one concoction with Rice Krispies, chocolate-chip cookies and other sweets. Their drinks menu is just as creative and extensive.


Joy District

Small but crowded dane floor at WALL Miami
The goal, simply put, is for everyone to enjoy

Whether you’re visiting Chicago from out of town and wish to enjoy a night out in the city, or you’re a River North regular, you’ll be sure to find enjoyment at one of Chicago’s premier dance clubs which is located on the second floor of Joy District’s multi-level dining and drinking structure. At the Joy District nightclub, patrons will be able to immerse themselves in the ultimate partying experience thanks to the venue’s roster of the hottest local DJs and spectacular bottle service. Joy District is a dance party hotspot for local and visiting celebrities. The nightlife spot even enjoys special guest musical performances from the likes of Demi Lovato, Ludacris, Travis Scott, Louis The Child, DJ Flosstradamus and more. Joy District’s club is the perfect place to stay out late with friends or mingle with new acquaintances serving up a unique and exciting experience unparalleled by the other River North clubs in the area.


With their own “adult” juice box signatre drink, you’ll be feeling just right for the night

LiqrBox is a vibrant bar and lounge located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The vibrant bar and lounge was created by BDG Hospitality Group and 8 Hospitality in 2018. The three-level 7,500 square foot space has an electric ambiance fueled by rhythmic lighting and a custom street-art inspired design. Guests are able to enjoy music from DJs and live entertainers playing top 40, hip-hop  and EDM music as they get their groove on. Liqrbox is known for its iconic “adult” juice box cocktails. The club’s whimsical food and drink menu brings back childhood classic dishes and beverages with a creative adult spin. Guests are able to enjoy elevated versions of nostalgic dishes like pizza rolls (the exterior is a crunchy wonton wrapper with three cheeses and Italian sausage), corn dogs (with shrimp rather than a Weiner sausage), and their own take on lunch-ables (box-ables which feature a fancy selection of cheese and cured meats).

The true showstoppers are the unique ways that the drinks are prepared and served to the guests. Beverages are served up from convenience store-inspired drink dispensers and slot machines. Liqrbox’s unique famous adult “juices” are served in juice-boxes that look like fat neon Zippo lighters with a plastic straw sticking out.


underground chicago
The place to be if you’re nocturnal and aren’t too fond of sunlight

Conveniently located in downtown Chicago in the heart of the River North neighborhood, Underground is one of Chicago’s most high energy clubs. Named one of the “sexiest places in the world” by Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Underground not only holds true to the name but also the reputation, as guests descend into the exclusive subterranean world of unforgettable, wicked, and wild fun. The venue features the hottest DJs in Chicago and guests are able to enjoy private tables, the VIP experience, and bottle service at this club.


You never know what kind of atmopshere awaits on the other side of the tunnel

Nestled above the Old Crow Smokehouse in River North, Chicago’s newest premier lounge, Tunnel, opened its doors in 2015. As the name suggests, the nondescript entrance on Kinzie Street opens to a hidden covered staircase inspired by London’s infamous urban tunnels. Blending the allure of a high-energy nightlife experience with VIP treatment, Tunnel aims to transform its venue on a nightly basis into a unique scene. The club has a regular roster of DJs who play a variety of music including current top hits in pop, hip-hop, and EDM as well as many beloved 2000s classic club songs on its superior sound system. The interior of the club is exquisite with beautiful design and lighting which all add on to the atmosphere and mystery created by the Tunnel.

Nestled above the Old Crow Smokehouse in River North, Chicago’s newest premier lounge, Tunnel, opened its doors in 2015. As the name suggests, the nondescript entrance on Kinzie Street opens to a hidden covered staircase inspired by London’s infamous urban tunnels. Blending the allure of a high-energy nightlife experience with VIP treatment, Tunnel aims to transform its venue on a nightly basis into a unique scene. The club has a regular roster of DJs who play a variety of music including current top hits in pop, hip-hop, and EDM as well as many beloved 2000s classic club songs on its superior sound system. The interior of the club is exquisite with beautiful design and lighting which all add on to the atmosphere and mystery created by the Tunnel.

Sound Bar

Hip Hop Party and Bottle Service at Mr Jones
Making sure you get your daily dose of beats and lasers

Located in River North, Sound Bar is Chicago’s hottest upscale nightclub that revolutionizes Chicago nightlife by boasting style, luxury and state-of-the-art technology. The club prides itself on having a variety of separate areas for its guests to enjoy themselves including a total of nine bars and several levels of entertainment within its 20,000 square feet.  Sound Bar’s European minimalist decor features flat screen monitors, laser lights, and floor-to-ceiling video projection walls that enable its clients to project audio-visual presentation throughout the club. Occasionally guests can enjoy magnificent performances from costumed dancers while they enjoy sip on drinks from an amazing selection of alcohol at their table. The music never stops inside the club which has different guest DJs every weekend playing today’s hottest music on the state-of-the-art sound shuttering systems.

Chicago Nightclubs FAQ


What time do Chicago Nightclubs typically open?

The nightclubs open around 10:00 PM.

What are the hottest clubs in Chicago?

Tao Chicago, Liqrbox, Prysm, Studio Paris, Spybar, Masq, and Y-Bar are some of the current Chicago hot spots.

What part of Chicago has the best nightlife?

River North, Wrigleyville and Lakeview has the best nightlife – clubs & bars. 

What are the best gay clubs/bars in Chicago?

The best gay clubs and bars are in Boystown in west Lakeview. The best gay clubs in the area are Berlin, Scarlet, Jeffrey Pub, Sidetrack, and Kit Kat Lounge.

What time is last call in Chicago?

Some bars and nightclubs in Chicago have late night licenses to sell alcohol until 4:00 AM Sunday through Friday, and 5:00 AM on Saturdays.

What are the best EDM clubs in Chicago?

The best EDM clubs in Chicago are probably Prysm, Spybar, Aragon Ballroom, Radius, and Concord Music Hall.

What are the best hip hop clubs in Chicago?

The best hip hop clubs in Chicago include Liqrbox, Cuvee, Tao, Park West, Masq, Studio Paris, Underground, and Tunnel.

Is weed legal in Chicago?

Yes recreational weed is legal in Chicago for anyone 21+.

What is the dress code like at Chicago Nightclubs?

Guys can wear nice jeans and a form fitting plain t-shirt or a nice button down shirt. Girls can wear jeans or a comfortable but stylish dress if they prefer. Of course guys and girls can never go wrong with dressing up even more – there is no such thing as overdressing when it comes to nightclubs.

How can I book bottle service for Chicago Nightclubs?

You can book table service using our free mobile app. Or, if you’re on desktop you can use our webapp.

How much is bottle service at Chicago Nightclubs?

Table minimums can get pretty expensive, but every venue is different. The best way to find out is to use our app.

Lollapalooza To Return at Near or Full Capacity this Summer

As the U.S. moves closer to reopening seemingly every day, it looks like a big step forward will come in mid-summer, when the Lollapalooza Festival will return to Chicago with a four-day event at its usual place and date range — Grant Park, July 29-August 1. The city of Chicago gave the event the greenlight at near-to or -full-capacity, insiders report, and an official announcement, likely with headliners, is expected to come next week.

Late Thursday, CBS-2 Chicago cited an unnamed rep at “City Hall” as saying: “The Mayor’s Office and CDPH have been in conversation with several large event organizers, including the team at Lollapalooza, on how to bring these experiences back to Chicago in safe way. We are taking these events case by case and determining how we can ensure the safety of our patrons. While conversations have been moving forward in a positive way, nothing has been confirmed.” However, multiple industry sources tell Variety that the festival is moving forward, and the CBS-2 article also notes that the city plans to reopen with no restrictions by July 4, nearly four weeks before the festival.

Also last month, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city is loosening its current pandemic restrictions, with allowed to operate with 15 people per 1,000 square feet, as reported by the Tribune. The city’s first street festival is scheduled to be the Windy City Smokeout on July 8-11, although full vaccination is required for all vendors, performers and staff, and non-vaccinated attendees would be required to present proof of a negative COVID test taken within three days of entry.

Lollapalooza will not even be the first major festival to be held in the U.S. since the fall of 2019. The three-day hip-hop festival Rolling Loud, with headliners A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott and Post Malone, will take place July 23-25 at the 65,000-capacity Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. New York is also moving ahead with its Governors Ball Festival in September, with a lineup featuring Rolling Loud performers A$AP Rocky, Post Malone, 21 Savage, Megan Thee Stallion and Dababy as well as more Lollapalooza-centric artists like Billie Eilish, J Balvin, Phoebe Bridgers and Portugal. The Man.

It seems likely that many of those artists would perform at Lollapalooza as well.

Spring Awakening Autumn Equinox 2021 Lineup Announced

Chicago is clearly the place to be for festival season’s impending comeback, with Spring Awakening now joining the city’s already bursting fall schedule that includes North Coast Music Festival, ARC Fest’s September premiere, and Lollapalooza‘s reported summer return. Dubbed with an apt, temporary Autumn Equinox rebrand, Spring Awakening will be headed to back to one of their earlier Windy City venues, announcing a two-day event for October 2 – 3 that will be hosted at Addams/Meddil Park for the event’s milestone 10th anniversary.

For those still weighing the lengthy list of festival options for later this year, Spring Awakening makes a convincing case for frontrunner with one of the most stacked dance bills anyone’s seen in a while. Splitting more than 60 acts across the back-to-back October dates, Spring Awakening will be bringing in Martin Garrix, Madeon, hosting RL Grime and Baauer sharing the decks, Midnight Kids, MitiS, Adventure Club B2B Wooli, SIDEPIECE, MK, Said The Sky, Excision, Dillon Francis, and more. From Diplo to Valentino Khan and 4B‘s Hulk Gang cohort, Chris Lorenzo to Galantis, Spring Awakening is promising a raucous comeback in 2021.

ARC Festival To Debut in Chicago Labor Day Weekend 2021

ARC Music Festival announces debut edition in Chicago’s Union Park, September 4-5 2021 with the lineup featuring Adam Beyer, Cirez DCamelphatEric PrydzFISHER, Mathame, Meduza, and much more.

Few cities will claim to have a feeling, an idea, and a culture as their identity as Chicago can. House music is the city’s contribution to the music world, a sound that has changed form and style as it journeys, breaking down barriers and bringing audiences together. Such is the ethos of ARC Music Festival, a major immersive electronic music experience scheduled to take place in Chicago’s Union Park on Labor Day Weekend 2021, attracting a global audience.

Every atmosphere has had its own enduring influence on the sounds born from the factories of the Midwest, from the basement clubs of Europe to the beaches of Ibiza and Tulum, to legendary festival stages around the world. ARC will serve as a catalyst for electronic music’s diverse scenes and tribes to come together for an immersive and uniquely Chicago experience, marking the birthplace of house music, which, ironically, has yet to be represented on the international festival circuit.

Eric Prydz, one of dance music’s most well-known figures, will take over the city with all three of his acclaimed projects, making ARC the first festival to feature all three of his aliases in a single weekend. Festival-goers will also be treated to festival sets from Eric’s namesake persona, Cirez D‘s US festival debut alongside Drumcode legend Adam Beyer, and his radical house alias Pryda for a closing party at RADIUS exclusively for festival-goers. Prydz’s live performances, which have gone through several iterations under the EPIC umbrella, have been some of the most revered and appreciated in rock, cracking technological barriers and wowing audiences and industry insiders alike.

Global house music legends FISHER, Patrick Topping, Seth Troxler, Hot Since 82Camelphat, Meduza, Will Clarke, Mason Maynard, and a special club set by Bob Moses, as well as local heroes Derrick Carter, Gene Farris, DJ Pierre, DJ Heather, and Hiroko Yamamura, will perform at the inaugural festival. Deborah de Luca, Luciano, and Nicole Moudaber will represent the international techno scene, while ZHU will bring his acclaimed multi-genre live shows to Chicago. This eclectic programming will serve as an example of the ARC’s curation, bridging genres and serving as a link between the scene’s contemporary innovators and the city’s founding members of the Danish culture.

Top 10 Jazz Festivals in the USA

The USA is the birthplace of the magical musical genre of Jazz. Known as the first truly American art form, Jazz’s rise to global domination mirrored a young USA’s rise to be a superpower. Jazz is intrinsically intertwined with America’s history and has evolved over the years just as the nation has. As Jazz began to incorporate and mix in sounds from other genres, Jazz festivals began to relax the type of artists and artistry they featured at their events. Nowadays, Jazz festivals also include acts that inspire and have been inspired by Jazz; the only criteria for music selection seems to be an inclination towards creative ingenuity. If you thought that Jazz was dead, nothing could be further from the truth, the music genre is still popular today with many long time running music festivals as well as a few more current ones that have popped up in recent years.

Use the Discotech App to stay up to date on the most recent festival announcements!

PDX Jazz Festival in Portland, Oregon

To celebrate Black History Month, PDX Jazz Festival was founded in 2004 to honor those who made Jazz what it is today with a series of concerts and events presented over the course of two weeks. PDX Jazz Festival takes over downtown Portland for eleven days every year in February, bringing some of jazz’s greatest stars to over a dozen venues across the city. This annual festival is dedicated to preserving America’s indigenous art form by presenting internationally recognized jazz masters alongside local musicians and includes education and outreach programs that extend into Portland’s schools and neighborhoods, as well as a generous offering of free performances.

Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival in Miami, Florida

Jazz in the Gardens has easily become the city of Miami’s premiere entertainment event. Having 15 years of history under its belt, Jazz in the Gardens celebrates diversity, culture and art. Through a stellar lineup of Jazz, R&B, Soul and World Beat, the festival showcases how various genres of music interact and influence each other. This inclusive approach to the lineup manifests itself in a uniquely uplifting atmosphere. Event goers find themselves entrenched in the rich beats and musical stylings that vibrate from the stage. The event not only brings world-renowned talent to Miami Gardens, but it gives local artists the opportunity to be seen, heard and possibly discovered. Jazz in the Gardens music festival is considered by many as the undeniable “travel destination for the spring.” Jazz in the Gardens occurs annually in March and serves as the inaugural event of the highly anticipated music festival season in Miami.

Reno Jazz Festival in Reno, Nevada

Reno Jazz Festival 2013

Almost 60 years old and organized by the University of Nevada, Reno Jazz Festival is not your normal festival experience. The event has a heavy focus on education, welcoming in students, educators, and professional musicians to the university for showcases, jam sessions, competitions and awards. The event regularly draws in crowds of nearly 10,000 students and their families each year with attendees coming in from within Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. Though this music festival might not have the same level of intensity as some of the other Jazz festivals on this list, it provides for a variety of family friendly and musical entertainment where you are undoubtedly able to learn about the rich history and culture of Jazz and celebrate it to the fullest.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, colloquially known simply as Jazz Fest, is perhaps the most famous Jazz festival in the entire world and is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and the greater Louisiana. The Jazz Fest is used to also refer to events outside of the festival that make up this time of celebration. In the days leading up to it there are many activities for festival goers to enjoy, including many Jazz shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival celebrates the unique bond between the city and the music nurtured there, and you are truly able to see how Jazz is the essence of the historic and rich city. Held from the last weekend in April into the first weekend in May, this festival is quite the tourist attraction with thousands of people coming into town to celebrate Jazz and immerse themselves in festival season. In fact, it could even be argued that outside of Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is the biggest event to take place in New Orleans in the entire year.

Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee

The Beale Street Music Festival came to life in the early 1970s when the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce developed plans for a festival, which would serve as a promotional umbrella for the numerous events Memphis hosted each May. Now this festival has transformed into a well-organized and highly budgeted month-long extravaganza for the entirety of May and has even hosted events that put the festival in the Guinness Book of World Records. In its 50 year run, the event has hosted pretty much every Blues or Jazz legend you can think of. Nowadays, the festival has broadened its scope of artists and always brings in a talented variety that festival goers always are able to appreciate.  

Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Jacksonville, Florida

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is one of the largest free Jazz festivals in the country! Every Memorial Day Weekend since 1981, thousands of Jazz lovers from across the nation gather in Downtown Jacksonville to celebrate the music, culture and art of Jazz by the riverfront. Offering up a more traditional lineup of the biggest names in the genre, Jacksonville Jazz Festival has the feel of a street or block party, only instead of music coming out of your neighbors’ janky outdoor stereos, the sounds come from some of the most talented artists in the world doing their thing and performing their music.

Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, New York

The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is one of the world’s leading Jazz festivals presenting legendary performers, familiar favorites, rising stars and new discoveries of talent and music from around the world. The multi-dimensional 11-day festival is held in downtown Rochester, NY, and features more than 1750 artists from around the world in over 320 shows at around 21 venues every year. Founded in 2002, the festival has grown from only being able to manage a crowd of 15,000 to now having around 210,000 festival goers attend it every year. Over its 16 years, the festival has welcomed a plethora of traditional and fusion royalty when it comes to the genre of Jazz who all know how to, of course, draw in an impressive crowd.

Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island

Established in 1954 by the Lorillards, a husband and wife pairing who were socialites in New York, Newport Jazz Festival is both older than its similarly famous sibling the Newport Folk Festival and also, reputably, the first annual American jazz festival to take place. Most of the early festivals were broadcast on Voice of America radio, and many performances were recorded and released as albums, which only goes to show the caliber of talent that was performing at the Newport Jazz Festival. These days, the event is even more impressive with artists such as Tony Allen, Herbie Hancock, and Jon Batiste as well as talented performers such as the Berklee College of Music Jazz Ensembles, Black Art Jazz Collective, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California

Turning 64 this year, The Monterey Jazz Festival is a music festival in Monterey, California that was founded on October 3, 1958 by Jazz disc jockey Jimmy Lyons. The festival is renowned as one of the best Jazz events in the world. Annually held on the 20-acre, oak-studded Monterey County Fairgrounds, the event welcomes over 500 artists every year and offers a diverse lineup of talent from passionate newbies all the way up to living legends in the Jazz scene. 

Chicago Jazz Festival in Chicago, Illinois

A multi-venue music event open to all ages, the Chicago Jazz Festival brings Jazz music to Downtown Chicago’s beautiful Millennium Park, as well as the inside of the nearby Chicago Cultural Center. The oldest of Chicago’s free lakefront music festivals boasts an incredibly diverse lineup, with artists who range from well-established Jazz legends to influential modern masters and crucial new voices, mixing both local and internationally renowned talent in the genre’s continuing evolution. The festival also arranges a large selection of free neighborhood concerts leading up to the main show at Millennium Park every year in August. 

Tao Chicago Grand Opening September 2018

“Everyone has a story about that space.”

That’s how Paul Goldstein summarizes people’s reactions to his mention of the iconic, 126-year-old building that sits on the corner of Dearborn and Ontario, which has previously housed trendy (and not so trendy) nightclubs, from Castle to Excalibur.

Goldstein is a partner of Tao Group, the uber-successful clubstaurant company that is gearing up to open an extravagant destination in the granite-clad structure. Given that a certain generation of Chicagoans engaged in much debauchery there, the property is a fitting home for this new venture.

The group likes to fill vacant but storied buildings with new life (Tao Uptown in New York, for one, is in a former movie theater that was originally built as stables for the Vanderbilt family). The Chicago property, landmarked in 1997, exemplifies this affinity. Tao has restored the entire building, embarking on an extensive gut rehab. Workers have removed most of the interior floors to create a dramatic 34,000-square-foot restaurant and nightclub with soaring ceilings, akin to Tao Group’s other glamorous venues in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Filled with Asian art and antiques, the new Tao Chicago will be a hopping, see-and-be-seen spot. Its chefs will prepare dishes representing a variety of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, and Thai (don’t use the word “fusion” to describe this; executive chef Mike Armstrong hates it). The menu will incorporate favorites from other Tao locations: the decadent tuna Pringle, for instance, a chip-shaped wonton draped with thinly sliced premium tuna, heirloom tomato, and truffle, is coming over from LA. But it will also feature new dishes unique to Chicago, like a kampachi sashimi served with fried olives, pea shoots, and a hajikami vinaigrette. Tao Chicago will also offer an expanded selection of steaks because, as Goldstein puts it, “the clientele here is more meat-focused.”

Tao Chicago is preparing to open in late September. A tip: if you venture in early, you’ll be rewarded with 20 percent off everything for the first two weeks.

Only time will tell if Chicago will embrace this massive clubstaurant, but Tao Group is doing its best to make the space feel like a genuine part of this city. Its partners have spent months eating at local restaurants, observing what works here (approachable but impeccable service, complicated and challenging food) and what doesn’t (anything that seems too exclusive).

As a result, Chicago will have a slightly different feel than Tao’s New York and LA locations. As Goldstein says, “LA and New York are sometimes more ‘velvet rope,’ more difficult to get in, but we think in Chicago, it’s important to be inclusive, to be part of things. There are no VIP rooms, there is no behind the curtains.”

It’s hard to imagine that getting a reservation at Tao will be easy, but at least you probably won’t have to bribe the bouncer to make it inside.

Spybar (Chicago) Promo Code

We do not currently have a promo code for Spybar. You can buy presale tickets to events at Spybar here.

Buying presale tickets at Spybar ensures that you’ll get in – ticket holders also get expedited entry.

You can book table service / cabanas directly on our free mobile app, or on our webapp.

Sound Bar (Chicago) Promo Code

We do not currently have a promo code for Sound Bar. You can buy presale tickets to events at Sound Bar here.

Buying presale tickets at Sound Bar ensures that you’ll get in – ticket holders also get expedited entry.

You can book table service / cabanas directly on our free mobile app, or on our webapp.