With so many bars and restaurants, a city like Chicago makes it hard to decide where to indulge, especially during the holiday season. Musician Danny Chaimson of The Gold Coast All Stars shares his favorite must-visit bars and restaurants to get into the holiday spirit.
The Do-It-Yourself Messiah is an incredibly cool, one-of-a-kind Chicago tradition. The ultimate example of safety in numbers, you don't have to feel embarrassed singing in public when you're just one of a few thousand. Handel's Messiah is one of the most beautiful works of music ever written, and it's a lock to put you in the holiday mood.
I love this spot because it's a hidden gem near the madness of Division Street that feels like a dark/sexy neighborhood piano bar where everyone is clearly out to have a good time. There's always good talent on the piano, and around the holidays there's nothing that warms you up more than a drunken group sing-a-long with a bunch of strangers.
I like this spot because it overlooks Michigan Avenue, serves hearty food and is close enough to all the festive holiday store windows that you'll have motivation for an after-dinner stroll.
This is an awesome place for a great scotch with loved ones or old friends. In a way it’s a hidden gem because you wouldn't think of it as a traditional local holiday hangout. Hands down my favorite view of the city--huge glass windows overlooking the river, with snowflakes falling between the lit-up skyscrapers in the background. I love hotel bars in general, always great for people watching. There's a great, special occasion-type feel to this place, like every drink in every hand has a little more meaning.
I'm all about seasonal cocktails, and Barrelhouse serves a mean holiday punch that is super authentic. The decor of the place makes you feel like your grandparents let you watch their house over winter break and you decided to have all your friends over to party. The setting could be straight out of "It’s a Wonderful Life."
Check out Danny and the Gold Coast All Stars when they perform on New Year's Eve at the Hard Rock Hotel.