From Rush Street, the sleek black awning and round silver shadow boxes that are the entrance to The Back Room beckon to upscale clientele. If you want to be part of the in crowd, you'd better make a reservation; this 40-year-old jazz club has a knack for filling up. And make sure you dress to impress—no jeans or baseball caps allowed.
Inside the club, the decor is dark and romantic, with votive candles adorning each seat in the house. And sit you must; there is no standing allowed at the Back Room, but you won't hear any complaints. From any vantage point, you can see and hear Chicago's finest jazz, blues, R&B, Motown, funk and adult contemporary music.
Downstairs, at the Showcase Lounge, the sleek bar is lined with captain's chairs. The snug, round tables are just big enough for two people to hold hands or four people to set drinks. Upstairs, the VIP Lounge overlooks the stage and the revelers below. It also provides a perfect view of the corner wall mural, a colorful motif of jazz musicians and the people who love them.
With all that class, you can expect to pay a hefty price; after all, you might even spot a celebrity—like Michael Bolton—in an impromptu stage appearance. The cover is between $20 and $25 and drinks are $4 to $11.50, a great deal considering the club has live music seven nights a week. There are three shows every night and four on Saturdays, and always a two-drink minimum. The Back Room is also available for private parties; the Showcase Lounge can accommodate up to 80 people and the VIP Lounge up to 60. And all that jazz!
Centerstage Reviewer: Pasha Carroll