You know today is going to be one of those defining moments of our generation. People will ask you where you were the day Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation's 44th president. Make your answer one for the history books and show your hometown pride with our guide to Chicago Inauguration Day celebrations.
As Barack Obama and Joe Biden officially take over the White House during the Inauguration Swearing-In Ceremony, which takes place on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building starting at 9AM CST, many Chicago bars and restaurants will be opening up early for the occasion. Dunlays on the Square in Logan Square will open at 10AM for an early lunch service, including a complimentary "ObamaChicagoChampagne" toast, "OBomb" shots for $5 and three 42-inch plasma TVs broadcasting coverage of the inauguration.
Dubbing its event "Renewing America's Promise," SushiSamba Rio is hosting a bipartisan party to usher in a new presidential era. The inaugural address will be broadcast live at the River North hot spot, while food and drink specials, including $2-$4 appetizers and $11 Red (Svedka vodka, raspberries, peach liqueur and lime juice), White (Cabana Cachaca, creme de cacao, egg white and sweetened lemon juice) and Blue (Cabana Cachaca, blue curacao, pineapple juice and muddled sugar and lemon) cocktails will be served.
Watch the events of the day unfurl on flat screens in Carnivale's festive lounge. The River West restaurant will be serving up "La Margarita del Presidente," a patriotic red-white-and-blue mixture of coconut, pomegranate and blue curacao ($10).
Lakeview's Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club is throwing an "Inauguration Day Ball" in honor of President Obama (has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?). Free-flowing champagne, half-price martinis and specialty $5 martinis (the "O-Bomb Tini," a mix of Bacardi O and Steaz Wildberry Organic Fuel, and the "Go Green Tini," a blend of Vox vodka, triple sec, cucumber and mint puree) will salute the occasion. A tarot card reader will also be hand, and the Kit Kat Divas will perform. 5:30-8:30PM, $25 per person.
The four flat screens at River North's Cityscape Bar will be tuned in to the inauguration ceremony, while you'll be turned on to the specialty "O Bama Tini" ($7), which features Absolut Mandarin vodka, blue curacao, Red Bull and a splash of Sprite. Domestic bottled beers and house wines will also be $4 (see, the economic state is getting better already).