Being single means one of two things: you're either unlucky in love, or you're lucky enough to be free. If you live in the city, where there are just as many parties for singles as there are for couples, we'd say it's the latter. Check out these Chicago events that prove Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers.
The Broken Hearts Burlesque Ball at Abbey Pub Friday, February 13, 9 p.m.; $15
photo: K. Leo
The girls of Belmont Burlesque will break your heart, if you let 'em.
Think about it: how often can you get away with watching half-naked ladies and gents prance around when you're in a committed relationship? Pretty much never. Now, aren't you relieved that you won't need to ask permission from the old ball and chain this year? The risque romp, otherwise known as the Broken Hearts Burlesque Ball, will feature a tantalizing lineup of performers from Belmont Burlesque. Featured players include Pearl Pistol, Red Hot Annie, Backdoor Aly, Hot Toddy, Dizzy Lizzy Delicious, The Honey Buns, The Amazing Tomas, the Belmont Bombshells and DJ Joe Black of Midnight Spookshow, who will spin between each set. Guests are encouraged to go all out with festive black, red or burlesque-inspired costumes (think stilettos, corsets and glitter); cash prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed.
Valentine Massacre at Cobra Lounge
Friday, February 13, 9 p.m.; free
Cobra Lounge knows what it's like to suffer from a bloody, broken heart. And the popular club also knows how to put on a bloody show where things will likely be broken. The love-loathing Valentine Massacre kicks off with a burlesque show, featuring Miss Maya Sinstress and Kendra James. The Reverend B. Dangerous will also host a virtual freak show during which he drives nails into his body, while the metal band Skank thrashes over Cobra's sound system. The romance-bashing festivities will continue on Valentine's Day with a live performance at 9 p.m. from The Chamber Strings, Kevin Tihista's Red Terror and Lonesome Cougar with Dorian Taj. Stoli and Kilo Kai drinks will be offered for just four bucks each, and with no cover, you'll have plenty of dough to splurge on booze.
Passion and Spice at Le Bar
Friday, February 13, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.; free
What better day to ward off love, or find a new flame, than Friday the 13th? That's when Le Bar, located in the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, will pamper a select group of single guys and gals with a series of cocktails ($12 each) created by mixologist DJ Love. First, Love will take guests through the first stage of romance (and maybe even spark some among the crowd) with the Passion and Spice, a mix of agave nectar, cayenne peppers, cherry liquor and tequila. Next is Aphrodite's Chalice with raspberries, rose champagne and gin. And finally, there's Cupid's Arrow, a symbolic drink of commitment, with Veev, lychee puree and rose champagne. The first 25 guys and 25 gals to arrive will receive gift bags packed with certificates to local spas and restaurants, cosmetic cases, leather-encased playing cards and shopping deals from Bloomingdales.
Shred Your Ex at Stretch Run
Saturday, February 14, 4 p.m.; free
If you're looking to get lucky on Valentine's Day, but don't have a date lined up, head over to Stretch Run. The downtown sports bar will play matchmaker when it opens its doors to some of Chicago's finest bachelors and bachelorettes. Drink specials range from $4-$5 and include the Love Buster with Disaronno, champagne and orange juice, the Forget About Your Ex martini with vodka, pomegranate liqueur, Chambord, lime juice and champagne and the Heartbreaker with Chambord, peach schnapps, vodka and a mixture of orange, pineapple and cranberry juices. If cocktails aren't really your thing, the bar will offer all of its drafts for just $4. Bring a picture of your ex to shred and score free chocolate strawberries or a fried pickle.
No Drama at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap Saturday, February 14, 9 p.m.; free
Jake Melnick's Besame Margarita should put you in a romantic mood, even if you just had a bad breakup.
Keeping in line with the bar's casual atmosphere, Jake Melnick's is hosting a drama-free singles event (we recommend burning those photos of your ex before heading over). In addition to the regular lineup of 150 domestic and imported beers, guests will enjoy a festive selection of craft brews, including Magic Hat #9, Founders Double Chocolate Breakfast Stout and half-price Leinenkugel Red bottles. Ladies can sip on $5 Valentine-inspired cocktails like the Pama Kiss with vanilla vodka, pomegranate liqueur and champagne or the Besame Margarita, a blend of Patron Silver and pomegranate liqueur. Additionally, all ladies will receive complimentary handmade chocolate bon bons to pair with their sweet drinks, while the guys score free condoms from Magic Hat Brewing reps. Jake's full dinner menu will be served until 11 p.m. and a $5 late-night menu, featuring a selection of salads and fried grub, will be offered beginning at 9 p.m. Also, there's no cover, so you can splurge on drinks all night while dancing to the sounds of DJ Tecknique.
"Love Hurts" Tribute at Fat Cat
Saturday, February 14, 8 p.m.; free
Love hurts, and so do tributes to cheesy ‘70s songs. But that's not stopping Fat Cat from rocking out to a cover of Nazareth's famous 1975 hit, "Love Hurts." The event is open to both singles and couples, but the breakup-inspired drinks are a warning to any canoodling types not to get too cozy. The bitter list includes poisons for those seeking vengeance against their exes, with names like The Cheating Bastard, The Dirty Bitch and The Breakup, $5 each. Food specials are just as brooding with a "Hit the Road Jack" half-pound burger and a "Call Me When You're Sober" PBR-infused chili, $8.95 each.