Summer in Boystown; bouncing nightclubs with the latest hits, bar crawls with best friends, the sprawling and exhilarating pride parade in June. As one of the nation’s first LGBTQ villages, Boystown has usually been a Mecca for amazing parties, friendly reunions, and pride-related celebrations year-round with good vibes galore. That being said, 2020 has certainly shifted things a bit for Boystown. However, since July 27th the city has transitioned into “phase four” of reopening which means that we will finally be able to experience what Boystown has to offer again.
So What Does Phase Four Mean?
Phase four is the fourth step of the Protecting Chicago plan in place to cautiously reopen the city while simultaneously considering the health of citizens and travelers. During phase four, guidelines will include:
- Bars, taverns, and breweries without a food license will only be allowed to serve customers if they offer outdoor seating.
- Indoor dining is available at 25% capacity.
- Museums and Zoos may operate at 25% capacity.
- Movie theatres and music venues may operate at 50% capacity.
- Face masks and physical distancing are highly recommended and at times mandatory for entrance.
As for hotel and lodging facilities, the City Suites Hotel is open and taking extra measures to assure the safety of all our guests including face mask enforcement, sanitization stations at check-in, no-contact housekeeping services, and more.
What’s Open in Boystown?
While the pulse of Boystown has always been associated with nightclubs and fun crowds, during phase four the restaurants and retail shops within the neighborhood have been stepping up and providing the public with some chances to finally get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. Boystown has always been great at adapting and triumphing over any challenge, so check out some of the amazing opportunities for fun in Boystown and beyond.
Get a Taste of Boystown
While Boystown’s quintessentially packed bars and clubs have been taking a breather since March, Boystown’s patio bars and dining experiences have recently been able to start shining again. Boystown is the perfect place to check out a nice patio and enjoy a delicious cocktail or beverage. Some of the must-see favorites of locals include:
- D.S Tequila Co. – Delicious margaritas and sky-high nachos await.
- Sheffield’s Beer Garden – A beer garden with a stunning back patio area.
- Wood – Eclectic patio with craft cocktails and tasty bites.
- Yoshi’s Cafe – A unique and delicious taste of French and Asian flavors.
- Dry Hop Brewery – Beer flights and exceptional bites.
Treat Yo’ Self with a Shopping Day
This pandemic has been a stressful time for everybody, and let’s face it, shopping hasn’t been what it used to be. However, since phase four, many local shops have eagerly reopened their doors to welcome in interested shoppers. Boystown is the perfect place to get a much-needed wardrobe renewal or evens simply poke around among local curiosities. With unique shops and classic stores alike, you’re sure to be content with your Boystown haul. Have some fun with your wallet for the first time in months by checking out a few of these awesome local favorites
- Unabridged Bookstore – LGBTQ+ friendly local bookstore with countless options.
- Reckless Records – Every record lover’s dream escape.
- Marshall’s – Everything you could want from clothes to oven mitts.
- Graham Cracker Comics – Comic book fans needs to visit this expansive and awesome store.
- GAP – Great place to grab a swimsuit on sale or fall preparations.
- Ragstock – One of Boystown’s best vintage and resale clothing stores.
- Target – Just don’t get trapped in the clearance section trap.
Say Hello to Lake Michigan
Boystown is nestled in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago so you can bet on some breathtaking views if you find yourself spending time there. The Lakefront Trail is a 19-mile path bordering Chicago’s shoreline and is the perfect way to see some spectacular views while taking a relaxing stroll in the city.
Explore Chicago Museums
One of the most exciting parts of Chicago entering phase four has been the reopening of some of the best museums not only in the country but also in the world. Whether you want to marvel at the ancient tomb of an Egyptian mummy or want to get up close to beluga whales, Chicago’s museum scene has a favorite for just about anyone.
The Shedd Aquarium is ready for you to dive back in, but does require tickets to be purchased in advance.
If you’re looking for a serene and relaxed way of getting back into Chicago’s museum scene, the Museum of Contemporary Art is where you’ll wanna be because admission is FREE all weekends in August.
The Field Museum is open and Sue is excited to welcome back visitors. Make sure to check out the ‘Know Before You Go’ guide before visiting.
What better way to enjoy beautiful sites while physically distancing than by visiting one of the best art museums in the world? The Art Institute is back and requires tickets to be purchased in advance.
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In the heart of Boystown, accessible by the Red Line train
Located at the edge of Lakeview and Lincoln Park, accessible via Brown Line train
Located in the heart of Wrigleyville, accessible via Red Line train
Located near the Magnificent Mile in Chicago’s Loop