Ten Under the Radar Places For Live Music in Center Square

By Jason Kreke | Monday, June 13, 2011

You can catch live jazz every Sunday at Big Joe's on Foster Ave. Credit: Jason Kreke

As the expansion of The Old Town School of Folk Music shows, the need for live music is alive and well in Chicago. As the school continues to be one of the largest institutions of its kind in America, other locations in the Lincoln Square and Northcenter area are putting on live music of their own and supporting local bands at the same time. From bluegrass with a side of eggs to traditional German and Irish music, here’s a list of places that serving up live music.

Horseshoe - 4115 N. Lincoln Ave. - This bar on Lincoln avenue boasts music Wednesday through Sunday and features music more on the rock spectrum including rockabilly and country. Every night has something different. Check out the calendar hanging above the dance floor for the latest acts.

Glunz Bavarian House - 4128 N. Lincoln Ave. - German history and heritage is prevalent all over the Center Square area, and the Glunz Bavarian House is keeping the music alive by serving German music every Saturday night.

The Grafton - 4530 N. Lincoln Ave. - Standing in the shadow of the Old Town School of Folk Music, the Grafton is an Irish bar that has been featuring live traditional Irish session music every Sunday for the past eight years. A rotating music selection is also featured on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and includes jug bands, folk ensembles and open mic nights.

The Grafton has Irish session music every Sunday. Credit: Jason Kreke.

Big Joe’s - 1818 W. Foster Ave. – Famous for turtle races, Joe’s is a typical shot-and-a-beer bar popular with regulars. The live jazz on Sundays started about seven years ago, and anyone can sit in and play with the house rhythm section. Just ask for Mike.

Silvie’s Lounge - 1902 W. Irving Park Rd. - Hanging around for about 30 years now, Silvie’s Lounge has a dive bar atmosphere with an ongoing commitment to local music that includes rock, bluegrass, hip hop and punk.

Montrose Saloon - 2933 W. Montrose Ave. – Just over the river, the Montrose Saloon is an unpretentious bar that hosts local bluegrass musicians the second Wednesday of each month.

Katerina’s - 1920 W. Irving Park Rd. - The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Katerina’s is supper club. With an eclectic mix of music that includes jazz, Greek, international and blues, Katerina’s is a place where music, drinks and cocktails combine to become a place where “romance blossoms and time stands still.” Its focus is on world music, jazz and blues and everything that comes out of those genres.

Leland Tap - 4664 N. Western Ave. – Formerly the Tar Bar, the Leland Tap has started to have music on Friday nights with a focus on indie rock, folk and cover bands. With the prevalence of folk music in the area, the Leland Tap offers a nice balance to catch local indie rock bands.

Lincoln Restaurant - 4008 N. Lincoln Ave. – Even though patrons are typically ordering eggs, patty melts or a basket of fries, the Lincoln Restaurant hosts an open banjo bluegrass jam every Monday.

Costello’s - 4647 N. Lincoln Ave. - This sandwich shop keeps customers entertained with live music that usually features a singer with an acoustic guitar setup. Sometimes it’s folk music with a banjo. A lot of the musicians that take classes or teach at the Old Town stop by. It’s a great way to listen to good music for free while eating lunch.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Share this now!

Spread the word