Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I've fallen out of love with nightlife: Part II


A few months back, I wrote this about the current state of late-night partying.

It inspired some interesting conversations between friends, which inspired me to do a follow-up post on something else that's been bugging me lately: the obscenely high cost of going out these days.

In these tough economic times, you'd think bar owners—and nightlife promoters—would give us a break. But it seems like it just keeps getting more and more expensive.

Just today, I received a press release about the $2,500 NV Martini with a 2.3 carat emerald pendant, being offered by NV Penthouse Lounge. Now, while I understand that it's considered a "luxury" lounge, this new cocktail is way too extravagant during a period when people are more intrigued by half-price cocktail night.

More power to them if they can get someone to drop $2,500 on one effing drink, but think about it. That's more than the average person pays for a mortgage or rent.

And another thing: What is really going on with the bottle service?! It's to a point now that you cannot sit in a downtown-area nightclub without dropping several hundred dollars on drinks (even more on weekends!). Who are these people who can afford to go out every weekend and order bottle service like they're Bill Gates?!

I just feel sorry for the average guy when it's not enough to buy a lady a drink. If he doesn't have a table locked down with at least a couple of bottles of premium hooch, then he can just forget about getting those digits.

It's like the whole idea of going out to genuinely meet new and interesting people is no longer a priority. What happened to those fun nights when we had just enough cocktails in our system to carry a nice buzz, danced all night to various tunes, and worked the party from one end of the room to the other?!

Let's bring that back. Now.

Jay-Z still planning to expand 40/40 Club to Chi


Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is selling his recently opened 40/40 Club in Las Vegas, but he's still talking about bringing the brand to Chicago next year. Hmmmmmmm.

This is simply beyond the usual


Truffles and champagne?! Blah. So boring.

It's time to step it up a notch, and one of the city's top local mixologists, John Kinder (Spy Bar, mk), wants to get you there with Chocolate + Cocktails…a secret love affair, happening Thursday at Vosges Haut-Chocolat.

This exclusive, guided tasting pairs Vosges exotic chocolate confections with Kinder's customized "culinary cocktails." One of the highlights: Bourbon blended with sugar snap peas and fresh lemon juice, paired with Vosges' Bacon + Chocolate Candy Bar. The $60 ticket includes five custom culinary cocktails (made with fresh squeezed juices and infusions) paired with Vosges' luxury chocolates, small bites and a chocolate-filled gift bag. 7:30-9:30pm. Call 773-296-9866 for tickets.

That's tomorrow, but here's what's on tonight:

The Chicago Jazz Fest happens this weekend, and you should kick it off in style with the Jazz Institute’s 22nd Jazz Club Tour, occurring all over town. Sponsored by the Chicago Trolley Company, the event will make stops at iconic jazz spots like Jazz Showcase, Green Mill, Buddy Guy's Legends and Backroom. 6-10pm. $30.

It's the last Wednesday of the month, which means that it's time for Quartino's popular wine tasting event. This time, they're exploring vino from Greece. The event includes five wines, light appetizers and a cool, friendly crowd on the top level. 7-9pm. $20.

More vino is on tap at Broadway Cellars, for the 20 Wines 20 Dollars wine tasting. They're pouring something they're calling "patio wines," which are lively whites and robust reds that should be ideal for Labor Day weekend. They're also serving up a good old-fashioned backyard BBQ with ribs, brats and chicken. 6-9pm. $20.

"Project Runway," everyone's fave fashion reality show, is on tonight, and if you want to watch it with an energetic crowd, head to the Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club. They're showing it on jumbo screens with local fashion designer and Season 4 alum Steven Rosengard. Guests will also indulge in themed food and drink specials, and compete in a design-your-own-martini contest for a chance to win a $250 Absolut gift basket during the show's season finale. 8pm. No cover.

And Rebirth of the Cool is back at Sonotheque, featuring those cool-ass lounge sounds of the 1960s and 1970s. Joe "The Groove Merchant" Bryl spins. 9pm-2am. $5.