Post-Gayborhoods: Chicago’s Wicker Park Is Diverse, Creative and Inviting

Post-Gayborhoods: Chicago’s Wicker Park Is Diverse, Creative and Inviting

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Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones. 

To see all the articles in this series, click here.

Wicker Park in Chicago, Illinois

The Big Star restaurant in Wicker Park (Photo: Andrew Collins)

You could definitely make a case that Andersonville, which actually has several lesbian- and gay-owned bars and other businesses, is actually Chicago’s most mixed post-gay neighborhood, and it is an area definitely worth checking out. But Wicker Park has evolved over the past two decades into one of the country’s most eclectic and inviting hipster ‘hoods in the country, and a visit here gets you to a different part of the city and also provides easy access to a pair of additionally diverse and indie-minded districts, Bucktown (to the north) and Logan Square (to the northwest). Wicker Park’s heart is the six-way intersection of North, Milwaukee, and Damen avenues, right at the Damen-O’Hare metro stop.

Within just a few blocks of this creative confluence, you’ll find such diverting watering holes and nosh pits as the dark and seductive Violet Hour cocktail bar, the trendy Big Star Mexican restaurant (with its expansive front patio), and the fusionist brunch and dinner spot Trenchermen, which inhabits a former Russian neighborhood bathhouse.

Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park (Photo: Andrew Collins)

Wormhole Coffee is an inviting place to warm up with a latte on a brisk day, while Links Taproom is a convivial place to partake a well-curated craft-beer list. For late-night revelry, Subterranean is a fun dance club with a decided LGBT following and even some occasional gay parties.

This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.

(Featured image via Jamie Bernstein/Flickr)

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