Memorial Day weekend falls a little early this year, so we don't blame you if you haven't made plans yet. We would fault you, however, if you didn't come up with some arrangements after reading this. It's the first official weekend of summer, after all -- shouldn't you celebrate that?
Citizen Bar's spacious (and wildly popular) rooftop is a no-brainer when it comes to summer socializing. The River North hotspot will host its third annual Memorial Day Summer Kickoff starting tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20, complete with a new menu, daily specials and guest DJs all weekend long. The multi-level outdoor lounge boasts two bars and flat-screen TVs throughout to enhance your warm-weather carousing, as well.
Attend a real live beach bash in University Village (yes, you read that right) at Kohan Japanese Restaurant on Sunday, May 24 and Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. The neighborhood hangout will celebrate its Patio Grand Opening and BBQ Beach Party with free mai tais (note: just one per person) and barbecue specials. Kohan is the only restaurant in the area to feature "yakiniku," the authentic cook-it-yourself Japanese version of Korean barbecue.
Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen in northwest suburban Crystal Lake will christen its two-tier deck for the summer season with a Memorial Day weekend blowout from Thursday, May 21 through Monday, May 25. Festive drink specials will include $3 Barrel Bombs, $5 pitchers of Miller Lite and Bud Light, and $5 16-oz. Duke's Southern Tea. Latin menu items will add some heat to the occasion, including fajitas, ceviche and fish tacos. There will also be live entertainment and bags tourneys each night, plus no cover throughout the weekend.
And, finally, if you're looking to extend the carefree feeling of the long holiday weekend into the work week, check out Red Kiva's "Sidewalk Sports" kickoff on Tuesday, May 26. The sceney West Loop lounge will set up Baggo boards on its outdoor patio each Tuesday through the summer and will offer $4 draft beers and its light menu of flatbread pizzas.