If you're planning on a night at Charlie's Chicago, you best put on your dancing shoes, Southern charm and the biggest belt buckle you've got. Ahem. Between Monday's two-step and line dance lessons at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday's line dancing, and Friday and Saturday's into-the-late-night country DJ, you're bound to find a compatible cowboy at this predominantly male gay bar. Reined in between three banisters, just wide enough to hold your drinks and drags, and an exposed brick wall of mirrors, Charlie's dance floor takes up a good portion of the room.
For those who aren't the dancing kind or simply need a break, the bar provides two rows of elevated benches with a view of the rowdy kicking and clapping. Otherwise, Tuesdays feature low-tech karaoke where the boys can hop onto a wooden soapbox, watch the small TV screen resting on a stool in the center of the floor, and belt soundtracks like Moulin Rouge under the red lights, spinning disco ball and a mirrored pair of suspended cowboy boots.
Besides dancing, singing and good-looking guys, Charlie's holds charitable acts at the top of its list of priorities by hosting a "man of the month" contest every first Friday of the month, judged upon the man who can raise the most money for his charity of choice.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jessica Herman