Old Town Social throws a Black Wednesday party with specialty drinks and… (Sara Mays/For RedEye )
There's only one thing to do when faced with a day of family obligations, commuting to the 'burbs and the possibility of setting a 15-pound turkey on fire: Round up your friends and go drinking. The night before Thanksgiving—Black Wednesday—has become its own tradition, a chance to catch up with old friends home for the holiday. Plus, when you inevitably feel the pinch of a headache coming on the next day, there's a mound of stuffing and gravy that should cure what ails you. Send out that group text now and choose from one of these seven Black Wednesday parties. firstname.lastname@example.org | @redeyeeatdrink
Thanksgiving Eve Wild Wednesday
Circuit Night Club 3641 N. Halsted St. 773-325-2233
Taffy apple martinis ($7) and stripped-down male go-go dancers should give club-goers something to be thankful for at this two-room dance party that lasts until 4 a.m. Doors open at 9 p.m. and beats come courtesy of DJs Alex Perez and Oswaldo.
Old Town Social's Black Wednesday
Old Town Social 455 W. North Ave. 312-266-2277
This Old Town tavern turns up the volume for a night of drinking and dancing from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. DJs Curley & Castro and KJ spin while guests order The New World ($10)—pear vodka, allspice liqueur, pear puree, lemon juice and vanilla) —$4 Miller High Life bottles and $6 Pumpkin Pie shots (cinnamon whiskey, Kahlua and Baileys Irish Cream).
Black Wednesday at Sub 51
Sub 51 51 W. Hubbard St. 312-828-0051
Normally closed on Wednesdays, this River North basement club opens its doors for a special pre-Thanksgiving gig from B96's DJ Jerzy from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. There's no cover, but visit sub51.com for group table reservations.
Black Wednesday Ultimate Trivia Challenge
D.S. Tequila Co. 3352 N. Halsted St. 773-697-9127
Bring your smartest friends to this expanded version of the Boystown bar's trivia night, featuring larger prizes and more rounds of competition. Sign up for free at 8 p.m. and order $8 Bud Light pitchers and $3 Southern Comfort shots.
Unbridled French Connection
Untitled 111 W. Kinzie St. 312-880-1511
Early revelers can clink complimentary glasses of Georges Duboeuf wine—poured in honor of the annual beaujolais wine release—and snack on light appetizers from 7 to 9:30 p.m. At 10 p.m., Untitled transforms into Unbridled, a Parisian nightclub with French-inspired art and music acts. Tickets to Unbridled are $15 at the door ($10 in advance at unbridledblackwednesday.eventbrite.com).
Clock Out, Tap In
Public House 400 N State St. 312-265-1240
Though the River North beer bar's weekly brewery series normally takes place on Thursdays, it moves to Wednesday, Nov. 27 for a special pre-Thanksgiving edition spotlighting Guinness. Swing by between 5 and 7 p.m. for samples of Guinness Draught and Guiness Black Lager, plus the chance to engrave your name on your own Guinness Gravity glass.
Black Wednesday Sabbath of the Seductresses
Debonair Social Club 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-227-7990
The No-Tell Motel crew returns to this Wicker Park club for a night of burlesque, parlor entertainment, circus and vaudeville with glammed-up performances from Angela Eve, Ray-Ray Sunshine, Maya Sinstress and others. Arrive at 9 p.m. for a one-hour hosted bar featuring Old Style beer and Reyka vodka, then stick around for the 10:30 p.m. show. Tickets are $12 at the door ($8 in advance at evesparlor.eventbrite.com)
Check out more Black Wednesday party options at chicago.metromix.com.