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Evil Olive

View Map1551 W. Division Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 235-9100
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Editorial Review of Evil Olive

Tequila, sports and palindromes? Sounds like Three Headed Productions, the team that brought us Cans Bar and Canteen, Junior's Sports Lounge and Salud Tequila Lounge, ran out of themes and had to get creative. Evil Olive focuses on the reversible phrases, which you'll find painted on the walls and gracing the specialty drink menu. You'll discover a second nod to the name in plated gourmet olives, which you can order hand-stuffed with blue cheese, four cheeses, jalapeno or cactus.

The swank decor maximizes the beautiful loft space and makes you feel like you're somewhere special and a little off-the-path. Luxurious U-shaped booths lining the walls of the main floor offer plenty of room for cozying up with your group. The back opens up to some quality hangout corners where you'll find a vintage photo booth to immortalize you for $2. A lofted second floor houses a pool table, some extra seating and a balcony where you can scan the scene or ogle the DJ, who floats above the crowd in a dramatically lit alcove. Plasmas overhead screen eye-candy flicks like V For Vendetta.

Three separate bars keep traffic moving, and each counter boasts an impressive array of quality tequilas, bourbon, scotch and other liquor. Pours are strong but balanced; drinks aren't too steep at around $5-$9. A standard lineup of brews includes Red Stripe, Bass, Amstel and Fat Tire. And look for drink specials during the week like half-price on everything (including top shelf!) on Monday.

The only gripe we had was with the music, which seemed to be searching for its groove. An early-on playlist jumped from smooth hip-hop to the Dead to Johnny Cash to Soundgarden–hinting that maybe the unlimited web-based jukebox is better in theory than in practice (DJs spin on weekends from 11 p.m., but the juke is the norm). Still, between the comfy but posh space, the diversions and the strong booze, Evil Olive seems to have what it takes to keep the cool kids coming.

Centerstage Reviewer: Julia Steinberger

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9 p.m.-4 a.m. Monday, Wednesday-Friday; 9 p.m.-5 a.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Tuesday

Directions to Evil Olive

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Evil Olive was mentioned in these articles...

In the House, 7/6/10
Our picks for Chicago’s most underrated house music venues

Best Beats 3/31/09, 3/31/09
Million $ Mano helps Evil Olive celebrate two years of late-night parties in Wicker Park.

Best Beats 2/23/09, 2/20/09
Will you have Big Fun at Crocodile or stick with Flosstradamus at Sonotheque?

Best Beats 2/16/09, 2/17/09
You'll be a Brazil nut Friday during a special edition of Sonotheque's Braziliance.

Best Beats: 12/22/08, 12/22/08
There'll be no post-Christmas blues this weekend, thanks to DJ Lego, DJ Eleven and others.

Virtual L: Division (Blue), 10/29/08
There's more to Wicker Park than dive bars and thrift shops

Million $ Mano, 6/24/08
We talk to the DJ about how he's blowing up on the scene and his hatred of 'hipster rap.'

DJ Zebo, 5/28/08
You won't have to pay top dollar to see one of the city's top DJs.

Kids Just Want to Have Fun, 2/11/08
Scott Cramer and Jillian Valentino host Outdanced, a sexy, sweaty, pansexual party with cutting-edge acts.


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