explore chicago

The Drink Deck – 52 Ways to Sample Chicago Drinking Establishments

Remember my love of a la Card Chicago?  Well, Jeff and I are enjoying checking out new places (yes, we just got to Smoque) and old favorites (yummy Big Jones).  We can’t figure out how two people will be able to spend $25 at Hot Doug’s but we’re up for the challenge!

I just discovered the unofficial companion deck to a la Card Chicago – the Drink Deck!  Jeff, the beer man husband, should be happy when he reads about this!  Like a la Card Chicago, the Drink Deck puts 52 establishments on a deck of cards and encourages you to “play” Chicago!  The Drink Deck divides the watering holes by a number of categories including wine bar, beer bar, music venue, dive bar, hip hangout (don’t worry those of us over 25 – these places are hip but not so hip that we have never heard of them!) and more.

The Drink Deck is only $30 and each card gives you $10 off of your tab ($30 minimum before tax and tip).  You can order a Drink Deck by clicking here.  Remember – outdoor drinking in Chicago is just around the corner…

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

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Dine For Less – Restaurant Week

I love Restaurant Week.  Practically every large city has one (or two or three) to encourage diners to break diets but not banks and support the local restaurant industry.  Restaurant Week is a great way to explore a new restaurant (or an old favorite) without feeling like your entire paycheck is going toward one meal!

Here in Chicago (and, again, in many other cities) we have multiple Restaurant Weeks and the first starts this week!  The Local Tourist (featured in an earlier Bright-Yellow) hosts its first Restaurant Week this week (January 8-15).  Each of the participating restaurants is offering three course meals for only $25 for lunch and $35 for dinner – PLUS 10% of each meal goes to Endure To Cure, which raises money for pediatric cancer research, treatment and care.  For a list of Local Tourist Restaurant Week restaurants, please click here.

Not every city has The Local Tourist but every city does have a chamber of commerce and/or tourism bureau and many of them, like Chicago, put together a restaurant week.  Chicago’s big Restaurant Week is just around the corner – February 19-28 – yippeee!  These tables book quickly so reserve yours now – lunch is only $22 and dinner $32.  You can see the complete list of participating restaurants here and, if you’re on Open Table (and if you’re not on Open Table, get on it!), make your reservation here.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you of Chicago Restaurant Week again when it starts.

Looking ahead, Yelp! also hosts a Restaurant Week in June.  Last year’s event was June 1-7 so look for that to happen again this summer.

In these tough times, I know going out is not easy on the old pocketbook.  However, we have to all help each other out and Restaurant Week makes it a bit easier to support local business.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!  Please leave a comment or two (including ideas for future posts!).

Enjoy Free Outdoor Cinema

Thanks to those who made comments on last weeks’ posts. Pam sent a great link to an Explore Chicago page that has locals posting their photo explorations of Chicago. Check out Life by the Lake by Eric Allix Roger – GREAT photos! This is a great page to check out as some of you make the adjustment back to the working world after the long weekend! The other comment came from Brad who suggested that you check out Rainbow Cone at 92nd and Western if you make it down to the 19th ward. I love Rainbow Cone at Taste of Chicago so I may have to make a return visit to the 19th ward for that!

Speaking of the Taste of Chicago, now that it’s over, it’s time to prepare for the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival! I love this series – just bring some food, drinks and chairs and enjoy movies under the starts. Sometimes it can get a little noisy but you’re really there for the atmosphere anyway! This year’s series features a lot of old classics like Sunset Boulevard (the opening film next week on July 14) and and Psycho. For a complete schedule just click here.

If you’re not interested in heading all the way downtown, don’t forget the Movies in the Park series that takes place all over Chicago. Tonight you can see Little Shop of Horrors in Lincoln Park or head south and see Iron Man in Tilton Park. Again, you just have to bring some food, drinks and chairs – easy peasy! For the list of upcoming Movies in the Park, just click here. BTW, Ferris Bueller is in Lincoln Park next week (the 14th) which may be where you’ll find me – I love that movie!

Whether you’re in Chicago or not, every town celebrates summer with tons of free outdoor activities. Visit your Park District or City Web sites to see what your town has in store for you! And, if you have any suggestions, be sure to add them to the comments section for everyone to enjoy!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!