Imagine a party where Kanye West, R. Kelly and the cast of Glee are all passing a mic, singing their lungs out. At Chicago’s Underground, that stuff happens all the time. Opened in 2007, The Underground— located in the basement of a once derelict building—helped turn a moribund ’hood into a vibrant entertainment hub.
The postapocalyptic/military–themed club was a hit from the start, attracting A-listers like Common, Katy Perry, Skrillex and Mark Ronson. So when owner Billy Dec decided to expand and refresh, he closed shop to do the job, a risky move for sure. A sleeker, higher-tech Underground re-emerged, and again, it’s a success. Dec prides himself on the “ropeless” vibe—no cordoned-off areas for VIPs, and they’re fine with that. Eventually. Sure, Miley Cyrus and crew were taken aback at first. “But she keeps returning,” says Dec. They must be doing something right.
Colin Rebey, aka DJ Phenom, offers V-Day tips for Chi-Town lovers and lovelorn.
Get Cozy: Rodan in Wicker Park is the move, with DJs or a mix running from The Knife to A Tribe Called Quest. Craft cocktails are outta this world.
Get Goofy: Millennium Park for ice skating. Nothing beats watching friends wipe out.
come back down
Still buzzing from all that dancing? These songs will help you get to sleep.