clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
Lakeview’s new palace of playtime is open.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Filed under:

Tour Big Mini Lakeview, a Bold New Mini-Golf Bar With Boozy Slushies

Players can also partake in Skee-Ball, Pop-A-Shot, and Gopher Juice cocktails

Summer means playtime in Chicago, a time when even those who have aged out of the school year system feel the urge to gather and goof around with food, drink, and games.

The buoyant mood of the season is well-suited for the debut of Big Mini Lakeview, a bigger and bolder sister spot to mini-golf bar Big Mini Putt Club, which opened Thursday, June 22 at 3655 N. Halsted Street, on the Lakeview and Northalsted border, just down the street from bars like the Kit Kat Lounge.

A brick exterior of a mini-golf bar with a sign that reads “Big Mini Putt Club.”
Big Mini Lakeview has two retractable glass garage doors and an operable skylight.

Housed in a bright and airy bow-truss building with 25-foot ceilings and an operable skylight, Big Mini Lakeview features 8,000 square feet of gaming goodness in the form of nine painstakingly crafted holes; arcade classics like Pop-A-Shot, Skee-Ball, and air hockey; and “fivers,” a new table-top golf game created by Big Mini co-owners Nicholas Jenkins and Austin DeLonge, which is played with a miniature 3D-printed club.

Big Mini Lakeview is nearly 3,000 square feet larger than the original in Wicker Park, which the co-owners say has prompted them to push themselves and think creatively about how to keep the gameplay feeling fresh. “We want to be a place where playing the nine holes is doable, but certainly challenging,” says Jenkins. “It entices you to come back and try to beat your score after you’ve played a time or two.”

The interior of a mini-golf bar.
The outdoors come inside at Lakeview’s new mini-golf bar.
A mini-golf course obstacle shaped like Sasquatch.
The putt-putt holes in Lakeview are bigger and more challenging.
A long wooden bar and high two-top tables inside a huge mini-golf bar.
Childhood fun gets a grown-up upgrade at the bar.

In the coming months, they plan to unveil Long Putt Nights, charity fundraising endeavors where participants can pay an entry fee for a chance to play a 50-foot putt — a permanent fixture that winds along the course — with a half-size hole at the end. Those who make the shot will split the pot with a chosen charity, and if no one makes it, the money rolls over to the next event.

Putt-putters can refresh themselves at the bar with a dozen draft beer options from Chicago breweries like Dovetail, Maplewood, and Half Acre, or try themed cocktails including Hazard Highballs (bourbon, strawberry, lime, club soda) and Gopher Juice (gin, blueberry, lime, ginger beer). A double-barrel slushy machine dispenses a rotating selection of boozy frozen beverages. Big Mini Lakeview doesn’t serve food, but the co-owners are exploring possible partnerships with nearby restaurants. In the meantime, patrons can bring in food from any spot they wish.

Take a tour through Chicago’s newest mini-golf bar in the photographs below.

Big Mini Lakeview, 3655 N. Halsted Street, Open 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 4 p.m. to midnight Thursday; 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.

A yellow neon sign reads “Who’s your caddie?”
Golf puns abound.
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
Big Mini Lakeview’s co-owners designed and built every hole.
A long wooden bar inside a mini-golf bar.
Boozy slushies are on the menu.
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
Supplemental arcade games dot the massive space.
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
Patrons can also play Skee-Ball, Pop-A-Shot, and more.
An open garage door entrance to a mini-golf bar.
When the air quality allows it, garage doors fill the space with summer breezes.
A gum golf ball game.
Even gum balls get the mini-golf treatment.
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
Some seating spaces can be reserved for groups.
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
The interior of a mini-golf bar.
Big Mini’s DIY aesthetic sets it apart from virtual golf chains.
A room with benches and tables.
For a quiet escape, slide onto one of these benches.
A wooden phone booth with a pink neon sign that reads “Talk birdie to me.”
Phone booths are now retro relics.
A ceiling light fixture made of bulbs and golf clubs.
Every detail screams golf.

Big Mini Lakeview

3655 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60613 Visit Website
Cocktail Bars

Not Even Malort Is Safe From Pumpkin Spice

Chicago Restaurant Openings

Chicago’s New All-Vegan Food Hall and 12 More Openings

Eater Inside

Inside Fulton Market’s Chill New Mexican Restaurant