Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The whole kit ‘n kaboodle

Watch out for the Cat's Meow to claw its way onto the West Town nightlife scene when it opens on July 18.

Owned by nightclub vet Arman Razavi (Music 101, Mad Bar), this music-and-food oriented venture should be his triumphant return to the bar biz, as he's offering up a strong lineup of deejays, local artists and more.

Cat's Meow should be a hit in the 'hood with budget-friendly prices, and menu items prepared with locally grown produce. Signature bites will include a 10 oz. Black Angus burger, BBQ pulled pork sandwich and crab cakes. They'll also feature daily food specials paired with beer or cocktails.

Whoever said there were no free rides . . .

Guests can take this old-school bus, courtesy of Reggie's, to their favorite destinations in the city at no charge. (Photo: Reggie's Live)

. . . didn't check in with local hot spots like Manor and Zed451, who offer bus service for guests at no charge. Specially wrapped and seating anywhere from two to 80, these buses are not only a new cool way for folks to get around, but they sure do beat taking taxis!

Before you book a trolley or limo, you might want to look into reserving seats, especially when your party's large. They'll definitely come in handy during hectic holiday weekends like Independence Day . . .

Manor's VIP experience goes from the bar to the bus, as this premier nightclub offers a luxury ride transporting guests to their after-hours hang, RiNo. They'll also pick up groups at other nightclubs, restaurants or sporting events to bring them to one of their clubs. The bus holds up to 20.

New South Loop rock venue Reggie’s Live made a very smart move by adding comp transportation, knowing how frustrating it can be to get a cab out of the area on weekends. And what makes their bus the coolest ever is its vintage vibe. Guests can take it to other music venues, as well as utilize it for special occasions (bday, bachelorette bashes). 15 to 80 guests; reservations required.

Both Stanley’s Kitchen and Tap locations in Lincoln Park and the West Loop are known for their sports bar atmosphere and down-home Southern cooking. But what most folks don't know about is the bus service that'll take them to games at United Center, Wrigley Field or Soldier Field. The bus will also take guests to most bars on the North Side or downtown area. Sign up required; holds up to 16.

WestEnd’s bus offers complimentary transportation between their locations and to events at the United Center. It will also pick up groups who have booked a private party at one of the Four Corners locations, including Gaslight, Brownstone, Schoolyard Tavern and Sidebar. Parties may range 10-34 people; first come, first served.

Chicago visitors who stay at downtown area hotels may book Zed451's bus through the concierge or when making a reservation at the meat-focused restaurant. After dinner, the bus will also take the guests back to their hotel or to the Theater District.—Additional reporting by Suzy McMillen