As suggested by its name, the Rhythm Room Bar and Bistro splits the difference between a lounge and a quiet spot for a light dinner. Located in the Evanston Century CineArts building, the restaurant finds a steady stream of moviegoers coming and going, so finding a spot to sit isn't difficult, even on weekends when the bar hosts live jazz music. Despite the music and constant pre-movie chatter, the noise level never makes it difficult to carry on a conversation with the server or, wink wink, a date.
The Art-Deco-inspired design suggests the opulence of a 1930s jazz club, but the atmosphere is decidedly relaxed and casual. Patrons will find plenty of space at the bar, or sink into one of the many booths or tables with large, plush leather chairs. Mammoth prints of movie posters hang on the walls bearing iconic cinematic imagery, and the floor-to-ceiling windows allow for easy spying on the Border's customers next door.
Bottled beers are served for just under $4, while a draught pint is less than $5. In comparison, the specialty cocktails are a little pricey at $10, excepting the frozen margaritas, which are a bargain at half that. The food menu is robust, featuring sandwiches or full entrees at "bar food" prices. Validated parking at the nearby garage means the movie ticket will be the most expensive portion of the evening, guaranteed.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Scott Smith