Best Nightclub Trying Its Damnedest Not to Be a Nightclub

East Room

Critics' Picks

One of the latest establishments to pop up on what's gradually becoming Logan Square's busiest stretch, along Milwaukee just north of California, has a split personality: half see-and-be-seen River North-esque nightclub, half dark and deserted dive bar. There's often a line to get in to the East Room, but there's no signage outside, just a brick wall and a single red light bulb. There's a drink menu, but it doesn't feature craft cocktails or bottle service, just cheap beer and a lot of whiskey. There's a huge dance floor, but it seems to attract neoclub kids and punkers rather than traditional club types. It's got gimmicky decor—like a private booth situated in an inoperable elevator carriage—but the building, which was previously occupied by a mental-health clinic, also has a kind of seedy aesthetic reminiscent of the cavernous Logan Square DIY spaces of yore (the Mopery comes to mind). On some nights it's virtually dead; on others it's packed beyond capacity. It's the weirdest and most fun new bar in the neighborhood, and the perfect alternative to Slippery Slope, which already has a line that stretches halfway to Cozy Corner on a slow night.


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