photo: courtesy of Bridget Cicenia, pictured: Crabbby Kim's
We know, we know. The lady, or gentleman, in your life has a "no strip clubs" edict, but sometimes you want your G&Ts with a side of T&A or steely buns and abs. We understand! From shot-and-beer bars to go-go-friendly gashouses, these spots will intoxicate your every sense.
Coyote Ugly Saloon
Yes, it's one of many in a string of Ugly's across the nation. Yes, the bar's NYC location inspired a crappy movie in 2002 starring Piper Perabo. And yes, the air of corporate upselling and excessive merchandising kills any sense of spontaneity and originality (note, the icky "Coyote in Training" kiddie T-shirt). That's the downside. The upside? Bare midriffs, short plaid jumper skirts, lots of see-through mesh, sports bras, halter tops and bikinis…well, the list goes on and on. Plus, the$3 PBRs on Wednesdays always taste better when handed to you by an uber-bronzed bombshell.
There's nothing regal about this place other than its name. In addition to well-dressed club-goers, see-and-be-scenesters and folks with money to burn, the sprawling 4,200-square-foot space packs in sequined, micro-mini skirted, spandex-bearing go-go dancers grinding the night away above the heads of revelers. But don't expect a scummy, dollar-a-dance club; the leather booths, dark wood and stony walls and cathedral-cylinder lights lend a sense of medieval decadence while the girls are entirely new millennium cheesecake. Unless you've got $300 to blow on bottle service, nurse a $10 cocktail and take in the scenery.
Is it any surprise that a swank bar in the heart of Boystown showcases toned shirtless men? As soon as the clock strikes midnight on Saturdays, off come the shirts and on goes the party. Despite its location in the heart of Chicago's gay district, Minibar has a come-one come-all attitude, which means you'll find nearly as many girls as guys lusting after the male flesh on display. For the straight guys? Perhaps an evening of slight discomfort, but suck it up if you want to take your lady to the Admiral anytime soon. Loosen up with the $9 Lethal Concoction, with three different fruit-infused vodkas, strawberry liqueur, three fruit juices, mint and soda.
Lucky Horseshoe Lounge
Ground-zero for boys, drinks and barely-dressed beefcake dancers, Lucky Horseshoe is not for the prudish among you. The slightly seedy, somewhat intimidating and gritty club finds men in Speedos gyrating above the patrons grinding nonstop on the dance floor. The place becomes a depot for debauchery on weekends, opening for business at 2 p.m., and the never-a-cover-charge policy (there is a two-drink minimum) keeps the crowds coming in droves. For those with a Latin fetish, head to the Horseshoe Monday night, order up a $4.50 margarita and say "bienvenido" to the Latin men at 8 p.m. Arriba!
Crabbby Kim's Bikini Sports Bar
Even in the dead of winter, the ladies behind the bar wear nothing but skimpy two-piece suits. Polaroids and surfboards lend a tropical feel, and the blue-collar clientele is a far but welcome cry from the trendy nightclub set. Early-risers seeking bar fare—including wings, burgers, eggs and sausage—and bikinis in the morning can head over as early as 7 a.m. Contrary to popular assumption that a pro-flesh joint can't serve passable, or hygienic, food, the kitchen churns out tasty chow (prepared by a fully-clothed male line cook). We even caught a couple grandmas enjoying a club sandwich during an afternoon ball game. High Life is the drink of choice.