Old-School Cheeseball: Division Street

Last Updated: April 13, 2008

Once filled with hookers and shot & beer joints, the strip of Division Street between Dearborn & State is crammed with more bars than any other block in the city, making it an irresistable force for bachelor parties. Moving from east to west:

Watering Hole
The Hook
Leg Room 7 W. Division Funky lounge, the likes of which are more commonly found further south in the Triangle of State, Rush and Chestnut
BAR Chicago 9 W. Division Upstairs den filled with cheesy retro tunes; be sure to spend some time in the bathroom perusing the attendant’s photo gallery, which would make Larry Flint blush
Bootlegger’s 13 W. Division Daily "Mardi Gras" attracts chicks and bachelorette parties who dance on the bar, threatening to knock over the midget pouring a shot down your throat
Finn McCool’s 15 W. Division One of Chicago’s largest mock-Irish "pubs"; gets really crazy upstairs, much to the benefit of those looking on from the street, if you know what I mean…
She-nanigan’s / House of Beer 16 W. Division Bare-bones den of flesh, throbbing since the 1980s
Butch McGuire’s 20 W. Division “The standard by which all other Division Street bars are judged,” this former speakeasy claims to have led to 10,000 marriages and once frequented by Hugh Hefner and John Wayne
Lodge 21 W. Division Another dive classic and favorite of a somewhat older set
Mother’s 26 W. Division Classic dive featured prominently in About Last Night with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore; er… cleverly named sequel, Mother’s Too, located next door
Hangge Uppe 14 W. Elm
(one block south of Division)
Former speakeasy is now a classic Chicago meat-market with retro 80s in the basement (jungle upstairs), and is allegedly haunted by more than just former patrons; experience your own "Nightmare on Elm Street"
  • All of the above are open late-night: until 4:00am on Fridays and 5:00am on Saturdays.