Thursday, January 10, 2008

Your guide to the hot weekend activities

Red-hot "Rescue Me" star Daniel Sunjata heats up Crobar's weekly "Pop-arazzi Fridays" tomorrow night.

Speaking of hot, that's exactly what I dig about this town. No matter what your friends say, there is always something going on during the weekend. So make those dinner plans with a sig other or your crew and head over to:

Jbar (610 N. Rush St., 312-660-7200). Tonight's limited-series party spotlights the talents of the one and only Jesse de la Pena. Known for his unique skills behind the turntables, he goes back to his roots with rare groove and other stuff we all need to be up on. The Sounds Good series occurs every Thursday until further notice, and also features "live" art. Tonight only, Dom Perignon hosts the first hour with a complimentary champagne reception. 9pm-2am. No cover.

Uncommon Ground (3800 N. Clark St., 773-929-3680). For something completely chilled out, grab a seat in the cozy new lounge at this Lakeview coffeehouse for the Green Room Sessions, a free monthly live music and eco-awareness seies featuring complimentary appetizers (provided by a local farmer or producer). This event occurs every second Thursday of the month (tonight!), and you'll be entertained by Green Elvis and the Andrew Thomas Band. Mora & Mahogany, who supports not-for-profit groups by providing them with a fair-trade fundraising program, hosts the event. The featured farmer is Heartland Meats, who is nationally recognized for bringing high-quality naturally raised beef with no hormones, animal by-products or antibiotics to Chicago. Also, the Green Room features the TreeTini, made with organically produced Rain Vodka. For every TreeTini ordered, Live it Green plants a tree.

Room 21 (2110 S. Wabash Ave., 312-328-1198). Also launching tonight: Infusion Thursdays features this trendy South Loop restaurant's unique infused cocktails for $8 (regularly $13). Get winter warm-ups now, including the Dewars Infused, with vanilla beans, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, hot water, served with a sugar rim and lemon wedge; and Woodford Reserve bourbon infused with green apple and clove (hot apple cider, simple syrup, served with a cinnamon sugar rim and garnished with a lemon twist).

Crobar (1543 N. Kingsbury, 312-266-1900). FX fans take note: Red-hot actor Daniel Sunjata, who stars on the Golden Globe and Emmy nominated show "Rescue Me," is the latest celebrity to heat up Crobar's famous Pop-arazzi Fridays tomorrow. Chicago firefighters—including the 12 firemen from the 2008 Calendar—will hit the stage for a runway show where guests can vote on Chicago's Sexiest Firemen. Following the runway show, the firefighters will be available for photographs and to autograph purchased copies of the 2008 Chicago Firemen's Calendar. All ticket proceeds and calendar purchases will be donated to firefighter's charities—Ignite the Spirit, The Gold Badge Society and the Firefighters Chaplains Fund. 9pm-4am. Friday. $20.

David Leonardis Gallery River North (217 W. Huron St., 312-863-9045). Art lovers should head to the River North area as this gallery as well as many in the area are hosting receptions from 6-9pm Friday. David Leonardis's new installation, Boom Box, should be a hit with visitors. Free.

House of Glunz (1206 N. Wells St., 312-642-3000). Every Saturday, this venerable Old Town wine store hosts an in-store, open house tasting featuring new arrivals, seasonal specials and end-of-bin deals. Tastings are 2-6pm and no reservations are required. Free.

Congress Theater (2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Eyeliner-loving rocker Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy hits the 'tables for the Malibu Winter Beach Bash, an indoor beach party hosted by Malibu Rum. Doors open at 9pm, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are free, and all you have to do to get in is RSVP to

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