Happy’s Bamboo and Bar Lounge
This Chicago venue is about 30-35 minutes from Evanston by Uber and about a one-hour train ride on the Red Line with a 9 minute walk from the Fullerton CTA stop. The DJ’s are usually on the better side and play to the crowd. The music is typically a mixture of pop and rap/hip-hop. The venue is on the smaller side; however, if you’re looking for something less intense than a full-on club, this place is for you. The front half of Happy’s is your typical bar area with booths for eating, and the back half of the building consists of a small dance floor with an upper area and another bar area.
Beaumont Bar and Grill
Beaumont Bar and Grill is either a hit or a miss. It’s about a 30-35 minute drive or an hour-long train ride (not including the 11 minute walk to the restaurant from the North/Clybourn station on the Red Line). Beaumont is ONLY worth your time and money if their back room is open. It has an incredibly spacious back room complete with a dance floor, a bar, strobe lights and a disco ball.. The issue is their back room doesn’t open until around 1:30 a.m. or 2 a.m. depending on the night. So if you’re trying to get back to Evanston for your Friday morning class, I would not recommend. The music ranges all the way from EDM to pop to hip-hop to Latin. However, if the backroom isn’t open, the music at the normal bar area is usually old pop songs. I will say this: a good night at Beaumont is a great night. The cover fee is cheap for a club experience in the backroom. Dress is casual and drinks are cheap.
This venue is about a 30-minute drive or an hour on the train; the closest station is the Clark/Delaware stop on the Blue Line. LiqrBox has three floors: the top floor is VIP, the bottom floor is your average bar and the middle floor is basically a mini-club. There is bottle service and tables you can reserve. There’s a dance floor that runs through the middle and a bar that runs along the entire back side. The middle floor is decorated in a youthful, neon, disco style. The one issue I have with this venue is that the music is pretty stagnant, only ranging from EDM to pop. The age of the crowd ranges from college-age to late 20s.
LITE is a nightclub with about a 35-minute drive depending on traffic or an hour-long train ride from Evanston (not including a 9 minute walk from the Grand/State station on the Red Line). LITE is a spacious venue with the main bar and lounge area on the top floor and a small lounge and bathrooms on the bottom floor. My one complaint about LITE is that there isn’t one designated dance floor area on the top floor. People pretty much dance anywhere on the top floor, even on top of the lounge couches. The DJs are pretty solid and play a wide variety of music from rap/hip-hop to pop to EDM.
Old Grounds Social (OGs)
If you’re looking for a more casual night instead of an intense club experience, OGs is a good bar with solid DJs. This bar is about a 30-minute drive or a one-hour train ride and a seven-minute walk from the Fullerton stop on the Red Line. There are 3 main areas to OG’s: the front bar, the middle floor, and a back patio area. There is no dance floor but still room to dance if you make room. The back patio area is cozy and also has another small bar, and the middle section includes an area for playing darts. The music ranges from rap/hip-hop to pop. The only issue with this venue is that there are booths and tables everywhere, which can be annoying. Aside from that, it’s great for a casual night with friends.
This venue is about a 30-minute drive from Evanston or a 56 minute train ride and a 6 minute walk from the Fullerton stop on the Red Line. This one-floor venue is a great place for a casual night: there is karaoke, a TV room, two bars, and plenty of space for sitting and eating. It is mainly college students who attend this venue and the cover is about $5. The downsides: there’s no dance floor and the place can get crowded depending on the night. It’s more a place to socialize with friends rather than a place to go dancing. Attire is casual.