Legendary underground spots
Now mostly defunct, these party venues left a mark on the city.
The Loft/The Gallery Chicago DJ legend Larry Williams was the headliner at this late-’70s/early-’80s spot—known for its formidable sound system—at 13th Street and Michigan Avenue.
AV-aerie This vintage rock/art space on Fulton and Damen Avenues hosted parties that brought in the likes of electro act Glass Candy and Sub Pop duo No Age. Around 2004, shows presented by Empty Bottle included Arcade Fire and a double bill of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Joanna Newsom. When the venue tried to go nonprofit, it couldn’t nab a license.
The Jerkstore Johnny Love and the Opaque Project turned the young and frisky on to minimal techno, Italo disco, house and new electro in the mid-aughties at their Wicker Park–area loft.
216 West Ohio Street Good Parties productions hosted events at this River North loft in the dance-loving ’90s, attracting house heavies such as Mazi, Heather, Lego and Phatman to spin.
bUDDY Before shuttering in 2005, the Wicker Park gallery/performance space run by Ed Marszewski and cohorts hosted bands, teach-ins, art and dance parties—and then the rents went up. Marszewski has since moved the action down to legit Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport.