Chicago Magic Lounge debuts its main stage tonight in Andersonville, giving the city one of its most-unique drinking and entertainment venues. It’s part speakeasy thanks to a full bar with Art Deco touches. It features signature cocktails and small bites, as ownership touts that they consulted with a food and beverage professional involved with a Michelin-starred restaurant. The main attraction is the magic — the lounge features a 120-seat and 43-seat theater. Ownership wants to make the magic lounge a destination for national-touring performers and establish the magic equivalent of what Second City is for Chicago’s improv comedy community.
Architect David Burns, who died last month after endearing himself to Chicagoans for his work at Steppenwolf and the Lookingglass theatres, helped design the space. He also designed Temporis, the West Town tasting-menu restaurant with lit booths that change colors. Magic Lounge named the speakeasy portion David’s Lounge as tribute. Magicians will perform behind the bar and at the two theaters.
Patrons enter through the doors and pass through an unassuming laundromat. There are a couple secret doors throughout giving the space a sense of exploration. There’s also a library filled with trinkets and magic resources. A library cabinet also features a deck of cards that appears to float and spin.
Customers have options. They can stay in the bar and eat and drink. They can buy a ticket to the main theater to see magic or listen to music — the Magic Lounge will also host jazz shows. Maybe they’ll augment their night with some champagne or truffles from Katherine Anne Confections. Maybe the pork belly sliders are enough to satiate.
Though they have all disappeared and shuttered, Chicago has a history of magic bars. Chicago Magic Lounge wants to conjure a spell and awaken that tradition. Stroll through the space below. Chicago Magic Lounge is open.
Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark Street, 312-366-4500, check calendar for show dates and tickets, David’s Lounge open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Venue is 21+, but children 16 and older can gain admittance with parent or guardian.