Chicago’s music industry is legendary worldwide. The variety, availability and even the multiple types of venues to enjoy it in, make it one of the best. The Blues Festival this past weekend is reported as being attended by international guests annually. My mother personally loves the Jazz Fest later in the summer, and I know many people who wait anxiously for Lollapalooza.
My personal preference is the restaurant or lounge setting with a live piano player, a vocalist, a small band or group performing The Standards, Motown and Pop music. Where has that gone? This type of music is & was typically performed in restaurants and lounges, sometimes with cigar bars. Dance floors for a little swing, bop, cha-cha as you are inspired by the music.
The restaurant industry in Chicago has taken a major hit, and I am sure nationally. Unfortunately, that has translated into many of the restaurants that once offered this live music I love & miss so much, Tuesday through Saturday like 200 East on Chestnut being closed.
Eli’s, The Place for Steak formerly on Chicago Avenue closed many years ago and a children’s hospital is being built where it stood for 25 plus years. Eli’s had a live piano player/vocalist Hal Roach. He is a phenomenal pianist and could be heard tickling the ivories and belting the standards 6 – 7 days a week. Even the Hyatt on Wacker Drive had live music in their Big Bar at least 4-5 days a week (Wednesday – Saturday). There was a dance floor and great bands there like, The Moods www.the-moods.com and other local talent.
Every weekend and throughout the week, there was somewhere to go for good food, great live music (The Standards, Motown, Pop), a little dancing and building a relationship with community business owners. There were so many to choose from. Where are they now???? I am going on a hunt for them and will report back. If you have any recommendations in DOWNTOWN CHICAGO only, please send them.