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Labor Day Deals

It may be called Labor Day, but we think it's time you took a load off. Relax at one of these local spots.
Friday Aug 28, 2009.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Lobster maki at <A HREF=/restaurants/koi.html>Koi</a>. You've worked hard. You deserve discounted sushi.

Ah, Labor Day weekend. School's back in session, the white pantsuits are stashed in the attic, and grills are fired up for one last blowout. It's hard to say goodbye to summer - but deals like these should make it a little easier. Here are the best ways to live it up over the long weekend.

Planning to do it yourself at home? Check out our expert-approved grilling tips.

Why cook on the grill over the holiday weekend, when you can get a full meal for your family with one phone call? Sheffield's "Feed Four Under Forty" package includes two slabs of BBQ ribs, a whole chicken, a pound of coleslaw, a pound of baked beans and a pound of potato salad for just $39.95. All you have to do is plan ahead; orders must be placed at least a day in advance, and picked up between 10 a.m.and noon Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 7.

If you listen to the style gods, you know this is your last weekend to wear white for a while. Live it up at Clybar's white party on Sunday, September 6. From 7-10 p.m., you'll enjoy Bud Light drafts, house cocktails, wine, soda and a food buffet, plus music from DJ storm - all while wearing your finest bleached attire. The party costs $20 per person.

Chen's and Koi
September's a good month for sushi lovers at these two restaurants (in Wrigleyville and Evanston, respectively). Buy an entree at either one from Tuesday, September 1 through Monday, September 7, and you'll get a $20 gift certificate for use during your next visit.

Citizen Bar
Deals are plentiful at this River North bar throughout the holiday weekend. It all kicks off with $15 domestic pitchers and $18 domestic buckets on Friday. Once you recover, head back on Saturday for a $5 drink menu and $3 SoCo Lime shots. Sunday's special is $5 you-call-its, while Monday's $3 domestic drafts and $5 burgers will be a lot better than a day at the office. There's no cover all weekend.

Grilling season is pretty much over at this point (except for you dedicated snow-grillers, of course), so live it up with an array of grilled Spanish dishes at this Old Town spot. From Friday, September 4 through Monday, September 7, you'll enjoy special items like chuleton de cerdo (grilled pork chop with sweet potatoes, grilled scallions) and escalivada (grilled seasonal vegetables including eggplant, zucchini, squash and heirloom tomatoes) along with half-price red and white sangria ($3/glass, $9/pitcher).

La Madia
Maybe your kids should work for a change during Labor Day weekend. In honor of the holiday (ok, and National Cheese Pizza Day), this River North Italian restaurant will give children a chance to make their own cheese pizzas on Saturday, September 5. Don't worry, they won't be sticking their hands in La Madia's wood-burning ovens; they'll stretch the dough at the table, top it with tomato sauce and mozzarella, and then receive their own cooked creations minutes later. The pizza is free with the purchase of at least one regular pizza - a good choice on the off chance that your kid's idea of fun involves extra extra extra extra extra cheese.

Stretch Run
It's an all-American weekend at this River North OTB. And by all-American, of course, we mean gluttonous. Hot dogs ($3.75, with potato salad and baked beans), cheeseburgers ($5, with fries) and chicken wings ($4.25, with potato salad) are all on special, as are sangria ($3), Jager shots ($5) and margaritas ($4). You should have at least a few bucks left over for betting on horses.

Durty Nellie's
Live entertainment is the focus at this always-fun suburban bar. The celebration starts on Thursday, September 3 with Your Villain My Hero, a band covering pop stars like Britney, Nelly and Lady Gaga (no cover). On Friday, '80s tribute group Sixteen Candles takes the stage ($7 cover), followed by dance/hip-hop/pop/rock cover band Rock Candy on Saturday ($6 cover). Your Villain My Hero returns on Sunday with another free show.

Le Colonial
Have you always wanted to eat at this Gold Coast Vietnamese spot, but been held back by the wine prices? Monday, September 7 is your day to go; the restaurant will offer a BYOB option during lunch and dinner. Now you just have to decide what wine goes best with oxtail soup.

Martini Park
Salute the end of summer with a BBQ at this River North bar and restaurant, where you'll enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast featuring marinated slow-roasted whole pig (served as a sandwich, barbecue or Louisiana style), with corn on the cob, jicama slaw and your choice of mac 'n' cheese or barbecued beans ($6). Other options include Mongolian-style barbecued shripm sliders ($5) and a Taylor Street-style char-grilled Polish with sweet potato fries and choice of mac 'n' cheese or baked beans ($4). On the beverage side, you'll find $7 cocktails like the Prickly Pear Mojito (rum, prickly pear puree, fresh lime juice, mint and soda) and the Cabana Samba (cachaca, champagne, fresh strawberry puree, fresh lemon juice). A reggae band plays from 8 p.m.-midnight.


Explore More

Bars & Clubs

Brand-New Bars

Brand-New Bars

Get divey on Grace; go downstairs at River North's Curio.

Food & Dining

New Restaurants

New Restaurants

Go Dutch at Vincent and satisfy a familiar sweet tooth at BomBon.

What's Happening Today
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  • Blarney Island
    $5 bloody mary bar
  • Volo
    $10 featured flights
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    $3.75 pints of Blue Moon, $2.75 bottles of Rolling Rock
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    $10 burger and beer (offered on all football and soccer game days)