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Eat, drink, and be Merry

Greetings Chicagoans! I know I know, it's April and you woke up this morning, saw snow on the ground, and didn't want to "life". It sucks, but look on the bright side, we are officially 2 months and 2 weeks away from the first day of summer! Given that, I thought it would be appropriate to start planning my evenings and weekends NOW. It'll give me something to look forward to instead of lamenting over the 31 degree weather outside my door. If you're a local or a visitor, make sure to check out my these spots.

1. Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Address: 1750 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, Il 60647
My take:
This place JUST opened up across the street from my apartment. DANGER. It may be way too easy to shuffle over and have a cocktail. Hey, I'm not complaining. This will be THE place to go when I'm feeling L-A-Z-Y. 

Some of the " active members" in my building had a chance to meet the owners, Ashley Albert and Jonathan Schnapp.You can find an awesome interview with them here: Podcast: Salt of the Earth. They had a wonderful evening planned for us which presented an opportunity to sit down, discuss their vision, break bread, drink margaritas, eat tacos, and the rest is history.  I am now the captain (not sure how I got stuck with that) of our very own Shuffleboard League "The Shuffleboard of Directors". First game is on April 9th. Don't come, we are not professionals. The feel of the place is very summery, light, and vacation-y. The cocktails were delicious, and I can't wait for the different food trucks making their way inside the building. Can I repeat that? The truck is inside the building. Very cool. There is also a photo booth with supplies and a backdrop, other games, like SUPER Jenga and Connect 4. But wait, hold on to your hats because there will also be a rooftop. Who doesn't like rooftops? If you want to host a party there, check out the promising beverage packages.

2.  The Robey Hotel

Address: 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
My take: 
Cabana Club
The Up Room
Looking for a girls night out, first date, anniversary dinner? This place has it all. Romance, atmosphere, and a stunning view.  You can grab a casual drink in the lounge, enjoy a brunch or dinner at Cafe Robey, or relax whilst enjoying a cocktail with an undeniably beautiful skyline view at the Cabana Club or the Up Room. If you want to impress your date or in-laws visiting from out of town, this is the place to go. Have I sold you yet? No? Get this, the Cabana Club has a mini-pool on the rooftop. You have to see it to believe it.

3. Big Star Wrigleyville

Address: 3640 N. Clark Street
My take: 
I've always been a fan of Big Star in Wicker Park. As soon as the temperature goes up to 60, I speed over with the fam, we order a pitcher of margaritas, chips and guac, and some tacos. Pebbles relaxes underneath the table, and I soak in the sun, loving every minute of it. Last Friday, we were invited for a soft open of the new Big Star in Wrigley. My first thoughts were, Wrigley, bros, drunk, annoying,vomit etc. You get the picture. Imagine my surprise when our Uber dropped us off by a beautiful new Hotel Zachary and there were no belligerent party animals in our vicinity. Either I got lucky or Wrigley is changing, for the better.  When we entered the building, the first thing I noticed is how similar the layout of the space is compared to the Wicker Park location. One thing is for sure, it's quadruple the size! This place will be packed on game days, especially with the premium seats on the second floor, facing the stadium. Personally, I would rather watch the game from my booth, sipping on margaritas and munching on tacos, than sit in the stands and eat hots dogs. Although, I do LOVE hot dogs. 

4. Aire Ancient Baths Chicago

Address :800 W Superior St, Chicago, IL

My Take
Aire Ancient Baths Chicago 
Let's slow it down real quick. After Shuffleboarding on Friday, and Cocktailing it up at the Robey Hotel on Saturday, you may want to soak into a hot thermal bath, surrounded by candle light, sipping on delicious hot tea and/or ice cold cucumber water. If this tickles your fancy, you MUST make your way to Aire Baths in West loop. I received this experience as a gift for my birthday, and let me tell you, was I thrilled. Walking into the waiting room, I felt like I was entering a secret society and into a world of greek mythology. I wanted to be a part of this mysterious ritual immediately. When I entered the locker room, I was greeted by a woman who explained how the lockers work, what I should wear, and where I should go. As I entered the baths, I was struck by the soothing and mythical ambiance and tranquilizing melody that filled this dreamy space. Once downstairs, we were taken on a short tour of the space and with an explanation of the various bath temperatures, " different temperatures: the Caldarium (Hot Bath 102ºF), the Frigidarium (Cold Bath 57ºF and Ice Bath 50ºF), the Tepidarium (Warm Bath 97ºF), the Balneum (the One Thousand Jets baths) and the Laconicum (Steam Room) and reach a state of total physical and mental escape in the Flotarium (Salt Water Bath)". There is also a small outdoor bath with a waterfall that's simply magical.  After an hour of exploring, exfoliating with Himalayan salt, and sipping on delicious tea, I laid down on the warmed marble resting area, closed my eyes and reflected on the peace I felt away from my phone, my laptop, and the clock. Every hour, soft bells would ring to remind us that time is passing. Highly recommended for Mother's Day coming up. 

Address: 1576 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
My Take: 
This next choice was purely based on my love for two specialities served there. 
1. Chicken Wings- Basil,burnt chile & yogurt
I cannot get enough of these wings. I dream about them and I'm salivating just writing about them.  
2. Happy Hour Special
Half-off bottles of wine and $1 oysters
This place is usually very packed, but somehow I never have to wait extremely long. 
As you get ready for the weekend, keep these 5 places in mind. If you visit, let me know how it goes! Keep your eye out for more posts about locations of my liking. There is sooo much more. 

 Eat, drink, and be merry. 

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