Chicago >Bars & Clubs > California Clipper
1002 N California, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062241.899511 -87.696953
Neighborhoods: West Side, West Town
No longer my favorite bar – The California Clipper used to be one of my favorite bars in Chicago. I was thrilled when the general manager agreed to allow me to use their back room to hold my 30th birthday party. However when I arrived the evening of the party the doormen refused to let me in because my driver's license had expired less than one week earlier (on my actual birthday). I was forced to drive all the way back to the suburbs to get my passport because I had over two dozen guests coming - I couldn't simply leave. When I returned they didn't apologize for sending me home - instead they spent about 45 seconds seriously reading my passport, as if they were looking for a reason to send me away again. Later on, a 45 year old guest of mine was almost turned away for the same reason - a recently expired license. The doormen bragged to her about "having to send the birthday girl home too" when she objected. This time the manager stepped in and allowed her to stay, with the warning that she shouldn't take a nasty tone with his employees. The manager did attempt to recitfy the problem with my ID by offering me free drinks, but after my guest was also denied at the door I spoke with him and was horribly surprised by his attitude. I understand that its difficult to obtain and maintain a liquor license, but considering the business that I brought in that evening I felt all of the staff (with the exception of the nice cocktail waitress) were rightous and rude. I was left saddened by the entire experience and will not be returning.
Best Bar in the City – I found the staff extremely welcoming and funny. The manager was there and introduced me to an amazing drink called the Purple Martin. The door men are very cute. I take all of my out of town guests here and we always have a great time. The music is good on the weekends and Bingo night is pure magic. Tuesday nights they have movie night with some pretty interesting choices. The staff makes you feel like family. If you are looking for redbull and vodka in pint glasses, then my guess is your probably not going to like this bar, but if your looking for a fun night with good conversations then please stop by. A great place to go on a date too :)
DO NOT GO HERE – The management is completely rude. They act as if they have the hottest club in Chicago. ( PS- THEY DONT!) Its too far out of the city, and has no real 'vibe' The staff is okay. When I went in I had a slight problem , and spoke with the GM. He was unaccomodating, and needs to go back to manners school. I just hate when men manage a place, that they think it makes them better than the rest of human beings. I would never spend my hard earned money in a sub standard place with such rude representation. Dont you !!!!
Nautically inspired retro cocktail space in Humboldt Park. – The Scene
A golden oldie in the truest sense, this establishment dates back to 1937 and hasn't changed a heck of a lot. A dreamy (if not a bit odd) cruise ship feel propigated by framed national parks posters, a red glow and South Seas decor--rattan furniture, smatterings of bamboo and palm plants--manages to be kitschy and cool. Young, unpretentious patrons get a kick out of the landscape, while older guests relive personal memories.
Short on glam-bar gimmicks, this basic watering hole forgoes the ciggie machine, pool, pinball and darts in favor of live, back-in-the-day tunes on weekends and an ever-evolving flow of regulars looking for a good, stiff drink. You'll find all the usual suspects to slurp, but vintage cocktails are really where it's at. Settle in for a sloe gin fizz, grasshopper or Singapore sling, or sick your smacker on an old fashioned.
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