Chicago >Bars & Clubs > Lee's Unleaded Blues
7401 S. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL | Directions 6061941.760461 -87.597661
Neighborhoods: South Side, Greater Grand Crossing
Great place!! – We always enjoy real authentic places! This is the real deal, awesome clean fun place to go for some blues fix! The people and the band were VERY friendly and engaging. It's a small place, but it has the dark lit bluesy feel to it. It still has, what I believe is the original velvet red awning above the bar with lots of photos on the wall of iconic blues singers. Drink prices weren't too bad and they make them strong, so well worth it!
As for the how to get here, read on. We came in from downtown. We took the Red Line to 69th stop. We were told to take the 69th East bus, but ended up on the wrong bus. We got lost and had several locals telling us that it's not a good idea to be hanging out around there. I didn't feel comfortable after hearing that and to me, it wasn't that bad, but we didn't want to find out what they meant. So I suggest from the train station, take a cab. It was about a $10 cab ride and do the same going back to the train from the club.
Have fun and enjoy!!
Friendly!!! Great Place For Blues – I couldn't disagree more with some of the negative reviews. My wife and I strolled into a JAM PACKED Lee's Unleaded. Bu the shocked look on our faces, it was obvious we were new at the club. Not only did a few of the locals offer us their seats, but they asked us if they could get us a drink!!! We had a great night at Lee's. Such a great time that we moved down to the South Side, where the people just seem a whole lot friendlier! I highly recommend Lee's Undleaded!!!
A Sunday Night Hang Out. – First of all, if you want something to eat, go to one of those fake Northside Blues joints. Lee's is a real blues joint, one of the last jems of this city. I used to love going down to Lee's on Sunday Nights. Everyone got their lesson, now it's time for their blessin'. Still in their Sunday Church suites, kicking back a few and dancin' to real blues music. I really recomend you get to this place before the Mayor wants to build a new condo on the site. Then it will be gone, just like Maxwell Street, and the true Checker Board Lounge. But at least we'll have the House of Blues. Oh almost forgot they are closing, and moving Buddy Guy's too. Get to Lee's before it's gone.
Blues, smoke & pork rhines – This place got a little smokey. The only thing to eat was deep fried prok rhines and the decore was old.
I loved it. This place was the most original Blues joint I'd ever been to. If you truely like blues, go here. You might just see me. I think I'm buying a house down the street & hnaging here ever night.
South Side time capsule of live golden sounds. – The Scene
Until 1983, Lee's was known as Queen Bee's, but it's as unselfconscious and lively as a South Side blues joint should be. Decorated in plush style, circa 1970, the padded vinyl stools and furry bar glow in original red under the spotlights. Southsiders who've been coming here for decades sit at the two bars with younger couples and music fans from further afield, all angling for a view of whoever commands the corner stage.
This is the real deal--industrious blues and R&B acts show a mastery of timeless American music forms not found under many other mirror balls. Whether it be Johnny Drummer & the Starlighters, or charismatic soul singer Shorty Mack, a good time and more than a bit of audience participation are guaranteed. There are few concessions here, but bartenders and neighborhood folk are warm and welcoming.
Not customer friendly – It takes forever to get a drink. The prices for the drinks change, tipping with each order does not improve the service. There is no food unless it is brought in and Vitners' chips are the soup de jour. A bag will cost you $1.00, a coke $3.00 and most other drinks $5-6. The glasses are so filled with ice you get a couple of gulps so it is even more rediculious. The size of the libation and mix of the drinks changes with each order. No consistancy. The music is average and the band I saw "Most wanted" had the heart of a real blues band...none. The energy some bands play the blues makes you feel emotional, and they did get there at times, but it was rare. All and all a very wasted evening. The owner is a fine man and very friendly.
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