July 25, 2018

Kind of Blues

In light of yesterday’s post about Chess Records and the blues in Chicago, I thought it would be fun to stir up some Wednesday wanderlust and to take you guys to a place that’s just a tiny bit quieter than Lollapalooza, but loudly keeps the spirit of Chess Records alive and is definitely a must-see on the Chicago to-do list. Kingston Mines is a lounge, bar, and restaurant in the north Lincoln Park neighborhood (just a walk down Halsted from our lofts!), and it’s one of the few remnants of the Chicago blues music scene that made the city famous throughout the 20th Century. Let’s talk a little bit about the why the blues are so important to Chicago, and why you should go out of your way to check out Kingston Mines if you can.

The South Side of Chicago was once dotted with blues bars and clubs, where you could see some of the genre’s greatest performers for just the price of a drink. Sadly, those days are pretty much gone, and most of the super-divey joints where the magic really happened have long since closed. Just like the Maxwell Street Polish or the South Side Irish parade, the blues are a big part of the multicultural blender that’s always made Chicago so great and interesting. But there are still a few well-known places (Buddy Guy’s Legends is a another option) keeping the spirit alive. Kingston Mines actually claims to be the oldest continuously running Blues bar in Chicago, dating back to 1968, and they’ve got shows running all night, every night, so finding room in your schedule shouldn’t be a problem.

With shows every night and a classic soul food menu, musically inclined visitors to Chicago looking to really experience a part of the city’s history without dealing with all the hustle, bustle, and hubbub of an outdoor or auditorium concert or festival should absolutely stop by here. So if you’re coming here soon or interested in planning a trip, talk to us and ask about seeing some live music and living one of the coolest parts of Chicago’s history!

(photos: Facebook/Kingston Mines)