House of Blues
Located within one of Chicago’s most recognizable buildings, and with an interior designed to resemble Prague’s grand Estates Theatre, the House of Blues is worth visiting for the architecture alone. But beyond its looks, the venue’s music and comedy performances draw nightly crowds; over the years, stars ranging from Aretha Franklin and Harry Connick Jr. to Carlos Santana and Jon Bon Jovi have appeared on its stage. The House of Blues is also a popular downtown dining destination.
Given the House of Blues’ convenient location, it’s easy to plan an independent dinner or evening out at the venue.
Things to know before you go
- Stop and admire up-close views of Bertrand Goldberg’s famed Marina City complex—including its two corncob-shaped towers—before venturing inside.
- The House of Blues’ Foundation Room VIP lounge offers additional drinking, dining, and entertainment options.
- The dinner menu includes an array of hearty bites, from barbecue staples and burgers to Cajun dishes and tacos.
- Tickets to performances can be purchased online or in person at the on-site box office.
- The music hall is standing room only, though VIP seating options are available. Note that certain shows have age restrictions, and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
How to get there
The House of Blues is within walking distance of several El stations, including Merchandise Mart (served by the Brown and Purple Lines), Lake (served by the Red Line), and Clark/Lake (served by the Blue, Green, Pink, Brown, Orange, and Purple Lines). It can also be reached by numerous bus routes, on foot, by bike, or even by water taxi.
When to get there
The House of Blues’ dining room is open on Tuesday–Saturday evenings, as well as on Sundays and Mondays for specific shows, the hours of which vary. Note that the House of Blues’ VIP lounge has separate hours; it’s recommended to research in advance if you plan to stop by.
There are few more festive brunch experiences in Chicago than the House of Blues’ Gospel Brunch. Held every Sunday morning (two time slots are available to book), the brunch includes a hearty buffet complete with carving stations and unlimited beverages; a live gospel chorus will serenade you as you dine.
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