Feature photo by Señor_Condo

It was about one in the morning when we had to leave our original destination for the night. Suddenly, the lights had turned on and the bartenders were ringing their last call bells. We weren’t ready to call it a night, so we started throwing ideas out at each other of places that would still be open. One friend of mine suggested some night club, but we just weren’t feeling it. Another suggested just buying a case and chilling at someone’s house. Neither ideas seemed sufficient. Then it happened someone suggested a place that would change my life, Exit Chicago, located at 1315 W. North Avenue. Considering it’s open till 4 a.m., we were game. It’s a stone’s throw from club land a.k.a the weed street bar district. But don’t let that scare you Exit Chicago is Weed Street’s antithesis. If you are sick of being surrounded by “Affliction” wearing douche bags and chicks with bad fake tans and attitudes, you should consider coming to Exit. The night we showed up for the first time was “Bondage a-go-go” or what I have grown to call S&M Thursdays. Exit is Chicago oldest Punk bar, having been in existence for over 30 years. When I was a kid, I would always drive by with my mother and see this place’s solid steel façade with its simple, yet to-the-point over hanging sign emblazoned with the bar’s logo, a skull and cross bone similar to happy jack but with motorcycle parts as the cross bones. I would tell myself that when I was old enough,  there… and I did. When you walk in you are greeted by a burly metal-head sitting on an old motorcycle asking for Ids . The television above the bar is usually playing some concert on mute or an old horror film, which only adds to the ambiance. The second floor looks almost identical to the first with the exception of a huge chain linked fence divider. If you happen to visit the second floor on a Thursday night you will be greeted by a bondage burlesque show with no fourth wall. Thursday nights are not for the weak of heart, in fact, this bar is not for the weak of heart. It’s for those of us who appreciate the more extreme facets of life. Exit offers a variety of fine domestic beers on tap and Guinness. If you’re feeling cheap, you can always order a PBR or Highlife in a can. Exit Chicago is open 365 days a year from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. and accepts all major credit cards, but cash is always happily welcomed.

Published by Claudio Alberto Cortes

Claudio was born and raised in Chicago. His interests are wide and specialties narrow. Claudio is surprisingly single and not that bad looking. He enjoys reading Jane Austin novels and listening to Depeche Mode. At one point in his life he considered going to medical school. His writing style has been self described as neuvo-gonzo or classic modernism. If you like what you read feel free to contact him , via facebook , twitter, pandora, and AIM (seesquaired). Come to think of it contact him even if you don't like what he has written, he loves to hear feedback as it feeds his ego monster.

5 replies on “Exit Chicago: The Happiest Place on earth?”

  1. My father used to frequent this bar in his younger years. He was telling me about it not a week before you posted this article. Very awesome.

  2. I used to go to this bar all the time. I only fault it for the stairs going to the 2nd level. Stairs are never good after whiskey. EVER. Great piece!

  3. I used to go to this bar all the time. I only fault it for the stairs going to the 2nd level. Stairs are never good after whiskey. EVER. Great piece!

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