Formerly: The name Purple Haze conjures up imagery that runs the gamut from illicit, to merely boozy, to collegiate, if you know your Chicago universities well enough. Definitely not named after that certain potent purple plant, the bar's name is meant instead to evoke Northwestern University Wildcat pride: We have here an Evanston bar smack dab in the middle of Lakeview.
Now occupying the former Purgatory Pizza space, Purple Haze does indeed throw its allegiance behind NU. If the color scheme and the name (a nod not only to the university's emblematic colors, but also a reference to the school's acapella group) don't make it obvious enough for you, a quick look around at the flags adorning the space let there be no mistake. The familiar wildcat emblazoned across the purple 'N' signifies a North Shore outpost in Wrigleyville.
Purple Haze has no problem filling seats with its daily specials. Tuesdays are an especially popular night, featuring the bar's unique take on the chicken finger crusted with Golden Grahams for $4, with $4 called drinks on the same night. Thursday nights at the Haze are great for a date night on the cheap: Two burgers and entire bottle of wine will only set you back $14.
The bar is making good on its attempt to position itself as the premier spot in the city to catch Sunday football. Everything in the place, from the food menu to all the bottles behind the bar, is 50 percent off on Sundays. Purple Haze's aggressive attempts to cater to its targeted fan base of NU Wildcats fanatics just might end up creating an entirely new generation of fans.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman