We love: Empty Bottle
We don't love the poor sound and sight lines.
Known for its ahead-of-the-curve bookings and friendly staff, the Empty Bottle (1035 N Western Ave, 773-276-3600) long ago cemented its status as a beacon of Chicago’s underground music scene, not to mention a national destination. Despite Yelp commentary to the contrary, we think there’s room for improvement when it comes to the Ukrainian Village club’s acoustics and sight lines. As it turns out, Bottle boss Bruce Finkelman has already looked into the matter. “I asked a structural engineer once if I could poke any more holes in the walls. He said, ‘Yes, if you want to have an open-air venue.’” In regard to the acoustics, Finkelman wryly adds, “If you think our sound is bad, you should see our bathrooms. Hey, at least we have paper towels now! Slow and steady wins the race.” The venue’s main priorities, Finkelman says, have always been to provide a comfortable space with great music and affordable prices.
In the meantime We can’t argue with the man’s logic (he’s a former boss), but if that explanation doesn’t sate sound snobs, check out the same quality talent at other venues where Finkelman’s Empty Bottle Productions presents concerts, such as the Lakeshore Theater (although we have some issues with that place, too), Chopin Theatre and Logan Square Auditorium, for starters, or Sonotheque (just don’t dance there), where the Bottle’s booty-minded offerings bask in the best sound around. Plus, there are paper towels aplenty.