Welcome to ‘DeParty’

A good time is just around the corner in Lincoln Park.


Keira Wingate | The DePaulia

McGee’s Tavern, which is located on Webster Avenue in Lincoln Park, is widely regarded at DePaul as a top spot for partying on weekends.

Local bars on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus make going out easier for students on a budget.

With classes back in session for DePaul students, the joy and freedom of winter break already seem so far gone for those who find themselves staying in to finish the daunting task of writing another paper or completing a lab assignment. While students prepare for a long quarter ahead, bars on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus offer deals that feel irresistible to DePaul students and others still on break from their colleges or universities.

One thing numerous college students have in common: they are navigating life trying their best to balance school and fun on a college budget. For many, this means gravitating to bars that understand the struggles of student finances and offer generous deals at a low price.

“Wednesdays have always been a popular night for Kincades, I believe they have some sort of a deal but I rarely participate,” said Alana Beck, a senior. “I prefer Kincades because it has somewhat of a seniority status.”

Bars like Kincades, Beaumont, McGees Tavern and Kelly’s Pub, to name a few, are popular bars in Lincoln Park, all offering different specials every night of the week.

Winter break means many out-of-state students at DePaul have to return to their hometowns for the six-week break, while a large population of students at colleges outside of Chicago are returning home and looking to go out in the big city.

“Outside of campus I tend to go to old town for the convenience, or if I really want a night out and am willing to dress up and spend more money then I will go to River North,” Beck continued. “During break, The River is a huge University of Illinois bar and McGees is a big freshman/sophomore bar.”

Bartenders and other employees at college bars face numerous challenges relating to their job, both at work and in their personal lives. A busy night at a bar invokes a much different feeling for that bars’ customers than its employees. Staff members at college bars are given the responsibility of accommodating customers while also dealing with underage or intoxicated people. Bar staff typically work long hours as they are forced to wait until customers trickle out at bar close so they can finally start the long process of closing down for the night.

“Coming home after closing up the bar is exhausting,” said a previous bouncer at McGees Tavern. “In general it’s easy to get dragged into an unhealthy lifestyle because it’s almost inevitable that you get less sleep, consume more alcohol and unhealthy bar food and have less time for other things.”

Keira Wingate | The DePaulia
Kelly’s Pub in Lincoln Park.

Because of the party culture surrounding college life, the bar scene on DePaul’s campus is unique as it reflects the habits of behavior-including drinking and spending- of college students. Though it likely means an inexpensive night out for partiers, it can also mean harder work for less pay for those supplying the fun.

“As you can imagine it’s a different scene than a bar downtown,” the bouncer said. “A lot of people misbehaving, drinking too much, people not tipping or trying to sneak in.”

Sporting events and major games tend to bring large crowds into bars, especially those that are known for supporting a certain college team. McGees, though it’s on DePaul’s campus and is often populated with students from the area, is mainly an Ohio State University bar. This means when Ohio State plays in a football game, students and alumni alike will gather at McGees, either to celebrate a big win or drink to forget the team’s loss.

Local bars don’t only cater to fans and followers of college sports. Depending on the day and the bar, there are events and games that accommodate those not interested in cheering on a specific team.

“I would say my friends and I gravitate towards bars based on deals and stuff happening like music shows or trivia nights,” said Peter Uhll, a senior at the University of Notre Dame.

Since the start of DePaul’s winter quarter, students continue to go out, but not as frequently as before.

“Things have slowed down, but not dramatically,” said James Foster, a bouncer at McGees. “DePaul students come because of the deals and the atmosphere,” he adds. “They’re just becoming legal and they want to thrive here as adults.”

For those looking to have a more laid back night while still being kind to their wallet, places like Rose’s Lounge are a perfect alternative to the chaos that surrounds the main bars on Lincoln Park’s campus. Rose’s offers an old-timey, warm feeling and is packed with couches that encourage people to sit back and get comfortable. With knick-knacks and angel lights lining the back wall of the bar, it’s quirky decorations resemble what would happen if a fraternity house and grandma’s cabin ever meshed together. Rose’s offers plenty of deals, a jukebox and a pool table that charges $0.50 per game.

Rose’s welcomes a diverse clientele with regulars and newcomers coming in to unwind, listen to music and even have a friendly conversation with the bartender.

“We have everything from motorcycle groups to professors coming in with their classes,” said Sean “the maestro” Scully, a bartender at Rose’s.

The atmosphere at Rose’s is warm and friendly. As an old-school Chicago bar must, they offer the famous Chicago Handshake – a shot of Malört paired with an Old Style Beer – for $6. For those who want to stay away from the hard stuff, Rose’s also offers $1 wine shots every day.