Drink up for a good cause at Benchmark. (Barry Brecheisen/for RedEye )
Fry a Little Tenderness
West Town Tavern 1329 W. Chicago Ave. 312-666-6175
Who says that fish is only for Fridays? Chef Susan Goss kicks off her Thursday night Non-Denominational Fish Fry ($15.95), which includes Great Lakes perch, apple-fennel slaw and shrimp-studded hush puppies. Pair it with a 2011 Paul Cluver gewurztraminer for $9.75 per glass. 5-10 p.m.
Jerry's 1938 W. Division St. 773-235-1006
Beer goes medieval at Oak and Iron II: A Bounty of Barrel-Aged Beer, which features tappings of 18 rare beers ($5-$10 per glass) including Bell's Black Note as DJ Grimsborg spins fantasy-inspired prog, dungeon synth and assorted metals amid screenings of sword-wielding flicks. And yes—costumes are encouraged. 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. No cover.
Set Your Sights High
Benchmark 1510 N. Wells St. 312-787-9824
Tip one back for a good cause at the High Sight Happy Hour, where your admission includes light appetizers, beer, wine, well drinks and silent auctions for prizes including Bulls and Blackhawks tickets and benefits High Sight's academic and social support of Chicago high school students. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $40. Tickets: highsight.org.
Double Door 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-489-3160
Don your cocktail attire for Raw Chicago, a showcase for hand-selected local talent where comedian Tom Fell hosts performance art, a film screening, live music and a fashion show spotlighting two dozen artists and acts—including an art gallery and a featured hairstylist and makeup artist—and DJ Flip the Skript supplies the beats. 7:30-11:30 p.m. $10-$15. Tickets and artists: rawartists.org/chicago.
(Free!) Picasso and Gopnik
Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. 312-443-3600
The New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik offers his insights on the Spanish artist in his presentation, "Picasso Not in America," in conjunction with the new "Picasso and Chicago" exhibition, which celebrates the centennial of Pablo Picasso's 1913 exhibit at the Art Institute, his first in America. Arrive after 5 p.m. for free museum admission till 8 p.m. (regularly $23) but be aware that auditorium seating is limited. 6 p.m.
REDEYE TIP OF THE DAY
Get tickets for the Academy Awards-sanctioned Oscar Experience: Chicago party Sunday: siskelfilmcenter.org.
Julia Borcherts is a RedEye special contributor.