With the 2016 Rio
Olympic Games set to open on Friday night, Chicago
is preparing for an onslaught of national pride across the city. Whether you’re looking to relax with a beer and watch a few events, bring the whole family to a fun viewing party, or get in on some of the sports action yourself, there’s a venue for everyone this summer. Check out our list of the best places in Chicago to experience the Olympic Games from start to finish.
Crew Bar and Grill
Chicago’s premiere LGBTQ-friendly sports bar in Uptown is gearing up for the Olympics in a big way. On Friday night they are playing the Opening Ceremonies live with sound starting at 6PM on their 24 TVs. But Crew is in it for the long haul, and will continue to show coverage day and night throughout the games to satiate your need to watch even the most obscure sports. The bar opens early for lunch at 11:30AM with daily food specials so you don’t have to miss a minute of the action. They also have a larger-than-life happy hour every weeknight from 4–7PM with half-priced cocktails, including their new 5 Olympic Ring cocktails.
4804 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 784 2739
SPiN Ping Pong
Bar, American, $$$
SPiN Ping Pong
Stick around the Loop after work on Friday and head to SPiN Ping Pong for a long night of Opening Ceremonies, friendly competition and themed drinks. The dual late-night bar and ping pong playground offers both club membership for serious players and casual walk-ins every night of the week. They serve up great eats and host weekly tournaments and live music to keep the atmosphere upbeat. But this week, SPiN is hosting the most interactive Olympics party in the city. From 4PM – 10PM on Friday night, they will stream the opening ceremonies and offer their specialty SangRio cocktail, with a portion of the night’s proceeds going toward Special Olympics Chicago.
344 N State St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 635 9999
If you’re looking for a more laid-back Olympics atmosphere, check out the many floors and bar areas of the Hubbard Inn this month. Their approach to the Olympics is less about watching and wishing you could partake in the games and more about uniting the world in a language that everyone speaks: food. All month long, the kitchen will dedicate each week to the cuisine of a different country. Starting out with the USA (of course), expect dishes like Smoked Bourbon Glazed Rib Tip and Charred Sweet Potato Salad. Then the food moves east to Europe and make stops in Italy, Spain and France.
110 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 222 1331
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center
Don’t be fooled by the venue; this Opening Ceremonies Viewing Party is welcoming to people of every heritage looking to join in on the Rio fun! The DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is hosting a large screening of the games’ kickoff, celebrating this record-breaking summer event. Admission is free and open to the public, but food and beverages will be available to purchase. The center is also planning to host more screenings of popular Olympic events, and you can fill out a survey on their website to voice your opinion on which ones should make it to their big screen.
4740 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 561 9181
Cactus Bar & Grill
Join notorious sports bar and Tex-Mex hotspot Cactus Bar & Grill for all your Olympic needs. Indulge in one of their favorite margaritas while you watch nonstop coverage of the games from start to finish. Try one of their specialty bison, black bean or turkey burgers, or settle in with a huge plate of nachos to catch your favorite events on one of their 18 HD TVs. Friday night specials include $25 craft can buckets, $5 Fireball shots and $5 Don Julio Blanco shots.
404 S Wells St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 922 3830
Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago
Whether you’re excited to celebrate your own Brazilian pride or just looking to get a more authentic experience of watching the games, join the Brazilian Cultural Center of Chicago at their Opening Ceremonies Viewing Party this Friday night. They will be hosting the event at HI Chicago and serving light refreshments. Check out their official Facebook event page to purchase tickets for $10 and connect with others planning to attend.
24 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 360 0300