In the mood for a little karaoke, but have the bizarre craving for bilingual karaoke? Head to Logan Square's venerable Bar Pancho to experience the craziest of Thursday nights, the kind where you hear someone butcher both the English and the Spanish versions of "Livin' la Vida Loca." Located mere steps from the California blue line stop, the Cuban bar serves as both a weekend hot spot for the neighborhood crowd and a cross-town journey for those on a pilgrimage for Spanish karaoke.
If the pictures of Havana hanging on the window don't give away the bar's Cuban roots, the drink of choice is a big tip-off: mojitos! Cuba's most awesome highball, the wonderful concoction of rum, sugar and lime, can be seen draped with mint leaves at nearly every table on a typical night. While any rum in the house would do the trick, Bar Pancho particularly pushes the Bacardi products, offering their Melon, Limon, Apple, O, and Razz flavors to sweeten your drink to the fruit of your choice. At $6.95, you better believe these drinks have some kick – but mostly they're especially sweet and tasty.
Naturally, it's always nice to have a restaurant connected to the bar, and Cafeteria y Restaurant de Pancho allows bar patrons to continue delving into Cuban culture (as well as being Logan Square's premiere spot for Cubs memorabilia) with a shredded beef sandwich, empanadas or other lovably greasy entrees suitable for bar food. With mojitos, bilingual karaoke and Cuban culture in the atmosphere of a little dive (and the overall cleanliness of an upper-class establishment) – Pancho offers a fairly pleasant Thursday night, providing you can endure the butchering of your favorite songs in two different languages.
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert