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Memorial Day Weekend Events in Chicago

Take full advantage of the long weekend with these events that go beyond barbecues.
Sunday May 23, 2010.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Memorial Day BBQ Stop flipping burgers and get out there already!

Really, how many family BBQs can you take in three days? If you want to think a little outside the box this Memorial Day weekend, here are some Chicago bar and restaurant events that might fit the bill (if you do just want to stay in the backyard, check out these grilling tips from Weber Grill executive chef Albert Gonzales).

Mac's American Pub
Friday, May 28 - Monday, May 31
Celebrate the opening of Mac's new, 18-seat sidewalk patio on Division Street with weekend specials including $9 pitchers of Bud Light (Friday), $5 mimosas (Saturday) and $2 PBR, $3 Jameson shots and $5 bloody marys (Sunday). All-day deals on Monday include $3 Sprecher Hefe Weiss drafts and a half-price half-pound burger with hand-cut fries, as well as the weekend brunch menu from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Rockwood Place
Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30
ESPN 1000 radio personalities Waddle and Silvy broadcast live from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday. The announcers will give away four rooftop tickets for the Crosstown Classic. Specials include $1 sliders, $2 flatbreads, $3 half-slab ribs, $8 Miller Lite and Bud Light pitchers, $10 peach sangria pitchers, $12 4 Rebels Dragonfruit Vodka lemonade pitchers all weekend long. The LaSalle Power Co. House Band plays live after the Cubs-Cardinals games Saturday and Monday, while The Personnel plays Sunday (no cover charge).

Division Ale House
Friday, May 28 - Monday, May 31
Heat up your long weekend with this Wicker Park bar's new "suicide" wings, slathered in sauce made with bhut jolokia pepper extract (you'll need to sign a waiver; the wings are $9, free if you eat all 10). Also on special this weekend: $4 Magic Hat #9 and $15 all-you-can-eat fish and chips (Friday); $7 build-your-own bloody mary bar (Saturday-Sunday); $4 Burning River Pale Ale, $5 PBR with a Jameson shot (Sunday); and $2 Bud Light bottles, 25-percent off appetizers and a free bags tournament at 6 p.m. (Monday).

John Barleycorn (Schaumburg)
Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30
Every day of the weekend offers something different at this massive bar, from a $9.95 BBQ rib dinner and live music from the 7th Heaven band on Friday (9 p.m.; $10 cover), to $15 Bud Light buckets and $6 4 Rebels cocktails on Saturday, to $3 beers and $4 Rebels cocktails on Sunday.

Stretch Run
All weekend long, you can enjoy $4 Sparkling Stripes (Chardonnay, Sierra Mist and grenadine) at this OTB bar.

Tin Lizzie
Saturday, May 29
Here's something that's both serious AND seriously fun: on Saturday, this Lincoln Park bar will feature guest bartenders who are veterans of the nation's armed services (after all, the holiday is supposed to be about remembering those who served our country). All tips collected will go to the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pinstripes (South Barrington)
Saturday, May 29
The Memorial Weekend Block Party at this entertainment complex will feature family-friendly events like a 5K run and walk, face painting, jugglers, kids games and a performance by 10,000 Maniacs. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be available for $5.

District Bar
Sunday, May 30, 4-10 p.m.; $20
The Backyard Bar-b-que at this River North bar has all the elements of a great barbecue: unlimited food (burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken), drinks (two included with admission price) and music (Acoustic Playback, 5-8 p.m.). All that's missing is the actual backyard.

The Southern
Sunday, May 30, 6:30 p.m.; $16
Chef Cary Taylor celebrates the holiday with a traditional Southern Lowcountry boil - a one-pot medley of shell-on shrimp, andouille, new potatoes and corn on the cob boiled in water with Old Bay seasoning, served up by the chef himself in the dining room 'til it runs out (service begins at 7 p.m.). Not a stew person? The regular menu will also be available.

HUB 51
Sunday, May 30
The best thing about long weekends is that Sunday night feels like Saturday night. Make the most of it at this Summer Kickoff Party featuring half-price drinks from HUB 51's new summer cocktail menu, including choices like The Back Nine (Beefeater 24, lemonade and organic iced tea), the pomegranate mojito (Don Q rum, mint and pomegranate) and Moscato Rose on draft. You can also get a full slab of ribs for $19.95, and enjoy tunes from DJ E-Six all night long.

Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen
Sunday, May 30; 10 p.m.-1 a.m.
It's not really summer until you have a beach party...and this Crystal Lake bar is hosting one on Sunday, complete with karaoke, $3 house margaritas, $4 pitchers and $5 bomb shots.

Grand Central
Sunday, May 30
Celebrate no work or school on Monday with $3 domestic drafts, $4 import drafts, $5 grape and cherry bombs and $6 burgers all day Sunday. A DJ spins at 9 p.m. with no cover charge.

John Barleycorn
Sunday, May 30 - Monday, May 31
Enjoy a free Sunday-night party featuring $15 Bud Light buckets, $7 one-topping pizzas and $1 sliders, with a DJ spinning at 10 p.m. Then come back on the holiday itself for the regular weekend brunch menu from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., plus a $12 all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet on the patio from 3-9 p.m., with options including ribs, burgers, Italian sausage, chicken and more (plus $15 Bud Light buckets and $5 Rebel Palmers).

Francesca's Tavola
Monday, May 31
As part of its "Eat and Earn" promotion, the Arlington Heights restaurant will send 20 percent of all sales on Memorial Day to Legion Post 208. Also, any member of the military who comes dressed in uniform will receive 50 percent off his or her meal.

Monday, May 31, open 2 p.m.-2 a.m.
English will screen the Hawks-Flyers game at 7 p.m. on the bar's 10 flat-screen TVs. Specials include $2 lamb sliders, $8 fish and chips, $3 domestic bottles and a $9 trio of bar snacks (pick any three).


Explore More

Bars & Clubs

Brand-New Bars

Brand-New Bars

Get divey on Grace; go downstairs at River North's Curio.

Food & Dining

New Restaurants

New Restaurants

Go Dutch at Vincent and satisfy a familiar sweet tooth at BomBon.

What's Happening Today
  • Gallery Cabaret
    $6 pitchers and $2 drafts of Miller Lite, $10 pitchers and $3 drafts of Bass, $10 pitchers and $3 drafts of Leinenkugel Red
  • Gallery Cabaret
    $3 bottles of Jever Pilsener and Huber Bock
  • Nite Cap Lounge
    $3 bottles of domestics, $4 mixed drinks and call shots, $5 bottles of imports and Jager and O bombs
  • Fat Cat
    $4.50 Rogue Dead Guy
  • Captain Morgan Club
    $5 pitchers of Bud and Bud Light, $5 Jeremiah Weed lemonades, $5 Smirnoff lemonades, $5 20-ounce Captain Cubbies (non-Cubs home game days only)
  • Birch River Grill
    half-price bottles of wine with purchase of entrée