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Inside Chicago Magic Lounge, Mixing Drinking and Deception in Andersonville

Guests enter through a laundromat to enter the speakeasy and magical theater

Fire and Brimstone come together at the cocktails at Chicago Magic Lounge.
Barry Brecheisen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

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.

There’s nothing to see here, move along.
The neon sign reads “misdirection.”
Guests enter the speakeasy through an unassuming laundromat.
The Blackhawk sweater adds authenticity.
They did not skimp on the details.
A view of the speakeasy.
Magicians will perform behind the bar in the center.
The bar’s named after David Burns, the architect who died while designing the lounge. He’s also done projects including Temporis in West Town.
Don Alan hosted his own TV show, Magic, and was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
The bar area has several seating options including this plush bench.
The library’s books provide a refined atmosphere.
This area should be a little bit quieter compared to the main bar.
Another bar smart enough to have a fireplace.
The Great Gaymond (Maurice F. Raymond) made his name in the early 20th Century.
More trinkets add character to the room.
Yes, this deck of cards is floating.
More thoughtful details on the shelves.
Max Maven headlines opening week at the main theatre.
Max Maven will help bring cocktails and card tricks together.
A view from the mezzanine level of the 120-seat theatre.
The theatre will host magic and music.
The owners hope to make this a destination for nationally touring magicians.
Enter the 43-seat 654 Club.
This space is meant to showcase close-up magic tricks in a smaller setting.
Check out the many vintage posters on the wall.
The shows at the 654 Lounge are shorter than ones at the main stage.
More decorations on the walls.
Smoke and Mirrors (El Buho Mezcal, Amaro Montenegro, Letherbee Fernet)
Barry Brecheisen
Abracadabra (El Tesero Platinum, Lime Juice, Luxardo Maraschino, Simple Syrup, Creme de Violette)
How Houdini Died (Parce 8 Year, Rhum JM 80, Aperol, Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice, OJ, Iced Tea, Angostura Bitters)

Chicago Magic Lounge

5050 North Clark Street, , IL 60640 (312) 366-4500 Visit Website