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Dive Bars and Lounges - Near North Side?

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Another tourist here. I'll be staying in the Near North Side at the end of the month, and while I know this likely isn't the best area of the city for what I'm looking for, I figure there's got to be a few spots around.

I plan on spending the bulk of my trip budget on food, so any places I can grab a few drinks without breaking the bank would be great, preferably with a good or unique atmosphere. Live music is a plus but not necessary. Are there any spots in the immediate area worth a visit? How about a short cab ride away? What sort of expectation should I expect for attire and crowd dynamic?

Additionally, on my last visit I ended up at the bar in the Hancock Tower at the end of the night, but didn't get much grasp on the place at the time other than a phenomenal view. What should I expect there if I wanted to make a return visit there?

Any help is appreciated- thanks!

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  1. Two places come to mind in the near north-ish area.

    1) Dublin Bar and Grill - kitty corner from Gibsons. Not dive-y but not Viagra Triangle either. My BF and I go in there for a beer before we have to meet his parents at Gibsons every year as a sort of mental break. Can order food there and it looks filling if not good. Haven't eaten there.

    2) Pippins - no food but you can order from the hotdog place and bring it in. Right by the actual Water Tower. Good place to catch a game.

    As to the Signature Lounge in theHancock, expect what you experienced before. A place to grab a slightly over-priced drink for an amazing, amazing view.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/pippins-taver...

    2 Replies
    1. re: lbs

      Thanks for the recommendations. I think Pippins is more what we had in mind, but again, any place with a good atmosphere would be worth a visit.

      Any other places in the general area?

      1. re: bjm87

        i agree on Pippin's. In 1984 I ate lunch and drank a beer there everyday. It was such a great homey place to go with lots of interesting people all the time. The Signature Lounge is a great view anytime of the day or night. When I was there in May we had great times on Thursday and Friday night. Saturday was completely ridiculous with the long line
        snaking out of the building. It is nice during the daytime especially if it is clear you can see so far north. And if you are female you will see the very best view from the ladies' room.

    2. One of the better dive bars in the River North area is Rossi's. The crowd there varies but is generally friendly, overall. As for attire? Nothing to think twice about (apart from the 'no shirt, no shoes, no service motto). No food or live music, though. If you head south into the Loop, you might find more options. That might be too far, though -- Near North can be a large area. If you have any more specific information on where you'll be staying, that might help us give you more options close by.

      1. Second Story Bar on E Ohio. :-)

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        Second Story Bar
        157 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611