Logan Square Now Cocktail Bar Capital Of Chicago, But Has It Gone Too Far?

Logan Square Now Cocktail Bar Capital Of Chicago, But Has It Gone Too Far?

By Mina Bloom | March 15, 2017

LOGAN SQUARE — When the Whistler opened nearly nine years ago, specializing in cocktails, it was one of the only bars of its kind in the neighborhood.

Back then, it was fair to assume that most people traveling down the relatively quiet block in search of drinks on a Friday or Saturday night were headed either to the cozy cocktail bar at 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave. or the notorious dive bar Two Way Lounge across the street.

“There was a better than 50-50 chance they were coming to our place,” said Whistler co-owner Billy Helmkamp.

Today, there are a lot — a lot — more options.

Helmkamp, referring to Milwaukee Avenue pedestrians, said, “Now you see a group of eight, followed by a group of five, followed by another group of three, followed by another group of four, and it’s not uncommon that all 20 people walk right past us and go into another place.”

Over the last few years, Logan Square’s bar scene has exploded. Since 2010, at least 10 cocktail bars have joined the neighborhood.

Billy Sunday, 3143 W. Logan Blvd.; Heavy Feather, 2357 N. Milwaukee Ave.; Estereo, 2450 N. Milwaukee Ave.; Spilt Milk, 2758 W. Fullerton Ave.; Lost Lake, 3154 W. Diversey Ave.; Scofflaw, 3201 W. Armitage Ave.; Best Intentions, 3281 W. Armitage Ave.; Deadbolt, 2412 N. Milwaukee Ave.; and Branca Bar, 2367 N. Milwaukee Ave., have all opened in recent years…