It’s often said that Chicago is a city of neighborhoods: Bucktown, Wicker Park, Bridgeport, Albany Park, Bronzeville, Garfield Park, Edgewater, Greektown… no matter what part of the city you want to live in, you can find a neighborhood with distinct characteristics suited to your personality and lifestyle. But we often hear from our rental clients that sometimes all those choices are overwhelming. How do you decide what neighborhood is right for you?
Deciding what neighborhood you want to live in is a personal choice, but we’re here to help. To that end, we are starting a series of posts featuring a variety of neighborhoods in the city. Our goal is to give you an idea of what the neighborhood in question has to offer its residents. We can’t necessarily claim that one neighborhood is better than any other (we don’t like to play favorites) so we’ll leave that battle to you and your friends in other ‘hoods. But if you want to learn more about life in a particular neighborhood, check in with us periodically.
So today we’d like to introduce you to Boystown. Why did we decide to feature Boystown first? Our apartment listings here are totally unbeatable! Check out our current listings. But another reason we decided to feature Boystown this month is that this neighborhood is chock full of things to do and has its own unique history. Also, despite its name and history, Boystown’s isn’t only for gay men, so no matter what your gender identity and sexual preference is, keep an open mind about Boystown.
Where It Is
Not sure if you want a bar, a club, or a show? Then the Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club should be your stop for the evening. Kit Kat Club offers nightly drag shows (except on Mondays during the winter, when they are closed), as well as dinner and drink specials most nights. Tuesdays are half-priced martinis all night, which you can enjoy with their Tuesday night “Mae West” dinner special, fried chicken and waffles.
If you’re in a classy mood or want to romance your date, pick Elixir on Halsted near Cornelia. Craft cocktails, warm, low lighting (makes everyone look sexy), and a subdued vibe make it the perfect place to sweep someone off their feet.
But it’s not all bars in Boystown – there’s food too! Since 1983, Chicago Diner, on Halsted near the corner of Newport, has been serving vegetarian and vegan meals in Boystown since 1983 and – take it from this meat-loving blogger – it’s worth a visit no matter what your palette prefers. Ann Sather, on Broadway near Roscoe, is a Lakeview breakfast and brunch staple with the tastiest cinnamon buns that you’ll ever have. They have all the normal breakfast foods you would expect, plus some Swedish staples like potato pancakes. A relative newcomer to the area, DryHop Brewers [link: http://www.dryhopchicago.com/], on Broadway, just south of Belmont, is one of the city’s finest brewpubs. Open for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night, the beer is only part of the temptation. Don’t miss the poutine – fries with applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar, scallions, and sausage gravy. The list of great restaurants and fun bars in Boystown is pretty much never ending, so get out there and explore!
A Short History
There’s every reason to be proud about being a resident of Boystown. It’s one of the newer neighborhoods in the city, when you compare it to the history of areas like Hyde Park or Lincoln Park, but it still has quite the story to tell. Prior to the late 1970s, most gay bars in Chicago were strictly undercover and yet were frequently busted by the police for a variety of usually trumped-up charges. In short, being gay in public really wasn’t safe until the late 20th century. But as the Gay Rights movement began in the late 1960s, Chicago’s gay community was one of the first to be “out and proud.” At the time, the area that’s now Boystown was on the rough side, but the upshot was that rents were cheap. Gay men began moving to the area in droves and began forming organizations, opening bars and restaurants, and stocking stores that catered to their own community. And Boystown was born.
As you can see, Boystown is a pretty exciting place to make your home. We would love to help you become part of the community so check out our available apartments in Boystown and throughout the Chicago area. And remember to check back often. We keep our available apartments updated and frequently get new listings. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these apartments, get in touch!
Want to know more about Boystown? Check out Time Out’s “Complete Guide to the Boystown Neighborhood” for more to do, eat, drink, and buy.