Formerly: Word has it that Bill's is now closed. We're hoping for a return, but don't hold your breath.
Welcome to about the only bar in Evanston where townies and NU students coexist in semi-drunken bliss. Bill's Blues Bar fanatics share one interest: listening to some quality grooves by well-respected musicians.
This small bar and live music venue located in downtown Evanston features blues, folk music, Motown, hip-hop and even international grooves (on Monday nights). Open jam sessions on Tuesday evenings force bodies and instruments to collide in the single aisle that runs down the middle of the one-room joint. Each individual eagerly waits his or her turn to play horns, guitars or even djembes on the small stage. Musical guests—such as Bonnie Raitt's bassist, Freebo, or members of Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band—routinely inspire generation-spanning pairings on the tiny, makeshift dance floor.
Saunter in before prime time and you may find a handful of folks staring up at aged concert posters or shooting the breeze with a casually dressed bartender as they enjoy cocktail hour. The tap selection (up to $7) includes pints of Kwak Belgian beer and the seasonal Two Brothers; you can also get top-shelf liquor like Plymouth Gin, Appleton Estate Rum and Abelour 10-year-old single malt scotch for $8 a shot. Designated drivers can enjoy bottles of O'Douls or Clausthaler, both non-alcoholic.
What blues celebration would be complete without some great barbecue? Bill's partners with Hecky's BBQ to feature $5 sandwiches, delivered daily straight from the source.
Centerstage Reviewer: Nola Akiwowo