Rumors Bar & Grille

4500 N. Lincoln Ave. (4500N, 2550W) Chicago, IL 60625 R.I.P.

Editor’s Note: Rumors in Lincoln Square has been replaced 42° N. Latitude.

“A jazzy supper club”

Example of a Rumor’s conversation:

“Do you have Budweiser?”

“We don’t serve Weiss beer.”

“You don’t have rice beer?”

“This is a Moroccan restaurant not a German restaurant.”


The only evidence of a Moroccan influence is the colorful dishes mounted on the wall, ceiling fans, velvet drapes, interesting black mottled finish on the ceiling, and the candles – if that seems Moroccan. In actuality, the owner is Moroccan and there are also a few Moroccan specialties on the menu.

Regardless, Rumor’s is a great place for jazz. Having opened in 1998, Rumor’s is a good example of the cultural shift going on in this area that delivered the Chicago Cultural Center, the Old Town School of Folk Music, and the inevitable Starbucks. Rumor’s replaced a dive called the Parkside (Welles Park being across the street) but still sports the mural of Lincoln Square looking out over Sunnyside, and a Bitburger neon beer sign in the window. The front room features tables set high (with candles), a long bar, and ductwork adorned with strings of lights. Here, you can order sesame steak and cheese fondue to go with your favorite glass of wine. The back room, or “Comfort Zone,” is where jazz bands play, sans cover charge, and which also features several very comfortable sofas, tables, and window seating. The space is large enough to accommodate swing lessons every Thursday, and features local artwork along the walls like Delilah’s, Witt’s and the Beat Kitchen.

Perhaps it was the “Moroccan” influence that evoked my friend to tell us about a story he read in a Japanese newspaper about two guys who won the Nobel Peace Prize for having an argument in a bar over a parking spot which a waitress recorded. Again: ?!? This influence may also explain the “Please do not flush” sign over the men’s urinals, or the tap which offers only three beers and does not work.

I also became intrigued by the prevalence of flower and lighter peddlers. A friend of mine bought a lighter that looks just like a filtered cigarette. He successfully haggled the girl from $10 to $5. Also observed was a gold lighter in the shape of a naked women with large pointy breasts. When one breast is pressed, the other emits a flame.

One never knows what to expect at Rumors, but good jazz is assured on Wednesday (with Q-Blue), Friday and Saturday night. My recommendation: chill out on one of their sofas come Saturday night, and head to Burrito House on Lincoln, just south of Addison, afterwards for some superb Mexican nosh. Or, head up to the Green Mill for some late night jazz. Cha-cha-cha…

“Visit the jazzier side of life”