Almost every bar you go to will inherently attract a douchebag or two, but, as it goes, some bars are just filled with them.
Here’s a free tip on how to spot a “douchey” Chicago bar from a mile away: When you walk into a place and you’re immediately hit with that feeling of “this might’ve been cool when I turned 21 but now I’m slightly embarrassed to be here,” and instantly confronted with scenes of girls visibly uncomfortable in their heels and guys trying desperately to get their attention, standing around listening to the music and appearing to have fun (but are they really?), you know you’ve crossed into douche territory. With that harrowing image in your mind, here are the hotspots to watch out for. And yes, this is an updated list because 3 of the 4 douchiest bars we had before are permanently closed (gee, we wonder why?) We do this because we care about you, okay?
56 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
For starters, even the website for this River North spot is douchey. If you’re a guy, don’t count on getting in unless you’re rich or with a horde of women. (Yikes, what year is this?) While regular douches may be pretty bad, rich douches are even worse, and this place is full of them. Be warned – amidst all the douchery, the bouncers here might actually be the douchiest of them all, as they’re notoriously known for denying people entry simply if they don’t like the way you look. (Again, WHAT YEAR IS THIS?) Judging by what’s going on inside, do yourself a favor and don’t bother. You’ll be glad you turned yourself away, given that on Yelp folks say that this place is “a literal cesspool.”
15 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
You knew this would be on the list, and if you didn’t, well… (We won’t say it.) El Hefe is notorious for not only having douchey clientele (ever waited 45 minutes in line behind a guy who won’t stop talking about how much cocaine he’s done that night?) but also having the douchiest staff. We think the recent lawsuit they have against them regarding an assault that was ignored by staff speaks enough for itself, but if it doesn’t, can we point you to their Yelp page? Every third review points to rude bouncers, watered-down drinks, and overall, just abysmal service.
632 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
TAO Chicago exists in the city with inspiration from TAO Downtown in New York, one of the douchiest cities if you ask us (that’s a different list for sure), so it’s no surprise that it attracts some of the worst of the worst in terms of Chicago bar clientele. But TAO Chicago makes sure to keep their service matching their clientele, with long wait times even when the place isn’t busy, roughly prepared food (according to their Yelp page, they often mess up their potatoes, how do you do that?), and extremely rude staff. Buyer (or patron, in this case) beware!
3540 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
Look, we get it, the Cubs broke the curse, and we’re really happy for y’all and for the city, but maybe we need another 100-year losing streak to check some of the egos here. If you’re looking for a place to find a chorus of drunk sports bros and chicks singing an off-key rendition of “Go! Cubs! Go!” please, look no further. Like many ‘fine establishments’ (note the sarcasm) on this list, the staff here also embodies 0 charm, being quoted as rude and inattentive on Yelp, especially when things start getting busy on game day.
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Don’t want to deal with these douchy bars? View our list of the best tequila bars to try this summer in the city.
All in all, you should avoid all these locations if you’re looking to have a genuinely fun, somewhat douche-free night out. Unless, of course, that’s your thing. Then by all means, have at it.
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Featured Image Credit: The Underground