Ask any domino-playing old timer on the Paseo Boricua (the Puerto Rican thoroughfare in Humboldt Park
) and they'll tell you stories about the bar Canales. Alas, after spanning decades, Canales has given way to the Social Lite Lounge, in part to bring in a younger crowd (but not too young: a sign at the door says you must be 25 or older to enter — a sign that this neighborhood is still marred by young misfits). For their part, the viejitos now go across the street to Mas o Menos.
Anibal, the new manager at the Social Lite Lounge, brought in more tables and a couch, karaoke on Wednesdays beginning at 9 p.m. (in both Spanish and English), a live band on Thursdays (Tato y su Orquestra) playing meringue and salsa, and DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.
An annoying, blinking blue light above the entrance seeks to catch the attention of passersby, or perhaps discourages you from sleeping (or selling illicit substances) outside on the street. Social Lite attracts lots of neighborhood birthday parties, but this place can be absolutely dead on other nights. Beers cost $3-$4 and shots run $4-$6. There are no specials whatsoever.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jacob Wheeler