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Lava Lounge

View Map1270 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 342-5282
View Website
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Editorial Review of Lava Lounge


Formerly: When the original Lava Lounge closed its doors a few years ago, citing liquor licensing as a major problem, rumors swirled that its second incarnation would appear soon enough. Still, we wondered if the place would retain its original vibe or if would lose itself in the changing face of Wicker Park.

Thankfully, old fans of Lava and newcomers can rejoice—the vibe is the same, although the space has changed. The new Lava is small, maybe even smaller than the original but, with keen attention paid to detail and design, it feels more spacious. Owners Ty Fujimura and Phil McFarlane turned to Suhail (Sonotheque) to give the place a modern, lava/rock-inspired style. Red, black and gray are the dominant colors here. A few gray leather couches and tables (which can be reserved for private parties) rest near the front window overlooking Milwaukee Avenue. As for lighting, sparkling spheres hang directly over the bar, and red, plastic moldings above the dance floor resemble balls of fire. Even the bathrooms feature large, white rocks embedded into the floor and granite sinks.

Beer remains the alcohol du jour, with 30 brands ranging in price from $3 (PBR) to $12 (Lindeman's Framboise). But if beer isn't your thing mix drinks are reasonably priced at about $5 for well liquor (and be sure to ask about nightly drink specials). DJs rotate nights here on a weekly basis, meaning you may hear house one Saturday and hip-hop the next, so call ahead before you go out looking for drum 'n' bass.

Follow Lava Lounge on Twitter.

Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson

User Reviews

Read other people's reviews and post your own opinion about Lava Lounge too!


7 p.m.–2 a.m. Sunday–Friday; 7 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday

Directions to Lava Lounge

Our directions are included with our maps of Lava Lounge
Lava Lounge was mentioned in these articles...

Vertual Vertigo, 11/16/09
This local hip-hop group remembers when Bucktown was still buck.

Best Beats 5/4/09, 5/6/09
Prescription for an affordable Saturday night: beers, deep house and rare disco at Sonotheque.

Hip-Hop Stops, 4/22/09
Hit these Chicago clubs to get your regular fix of beats and rhymes.

DJ Pickel, 4/21/09
The veteran DJ won't take requests...but he will answer our questions.

DJ Intel, 3/30/09
The man of eight residencies gives us his list of prized records.

Best Beats 2/16/09, 2/17/09
You'll be a Brazil nut Friday during a special edition of Sonotheque's Braziliance.

Best Beats 1/19/09, 1/19/09
The Hideout hosts a night of soul, early and late.

Best Beats: 1/3/09, 1/3/09
Lava's house-music party gets a hot new name this Friday.

Best Beats: 12/22/08, 12/22/08
There'll be no post-Christmas blues this weekend, thanks to DJ Lego, DJ Eleven and others.

Best Beats: 12/15/08, 12/15/08
Zentra's under HouseArrest on Friday...this is a good thing if you like to dance.

Slashies: Historical Hybrids, 8/21/07
These liquor store-slash-bars promise pretense-free boozing, whether you pull up a stool or take your hooch to go.

Shake Your Groove Thang, 5/8/07
Old favorites rock parties like never before thanks to funky local DJs.


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