Jamaican Music

TravelPulse Names the Top Four Hotspots for Reggae in Chicago

Top Four Hotspots for Reggae in Chicago

While Chicago is known for its jazz and blues, there is a large following for reggae in the city as well. Four of the best venues to experience reggae have been named by TravelPulse. They are the Wild Hare, Exedus II, Mr. Brown’s Lounge, and Subterranean. The iconic Wild Hare was instrumental in creating the reggae scene in Chicago some 30 years ago. It was the location for the dance of Nina and Darius in the classic film “Love Jones,” and it is where many Jamaican bands play when they come to the city. It’s new Lincoln Park location offers an extensive menu featuring jerk chicken, red snapper escovitch and oxtails. Major acts perform there, including the Marleys, Morgan Heritage,and Beres Hammond. Exedus II features bands and DJs providing hardcore dancehall. It’s a favorite of the local Caribbean community in Chicago and has also been in business for 30 years. This club is for real reggae aficionados who know traditions like “wine up”dancing. Since most of the action starts after midnight, it’s a good place to end a night on the town. Mr. Brown’s Lounge, its name taken from a Bob Marley song, offers authentic cuisine and great music. There are two locations: the spot in West Town is a neighborhood venue with weekly music events that feature roots reggae, dancehall, hip hop, and soca; the Loop location offers traditional foods and live music, including reggae, soca, afrobeat, and reggaeton. Both feature a steady background of old-school reggae that plays for diners. Subterranean in Wicker Park features a weekly menu of hits along with the legendary Reggae Gold dance parties. There’s a wide variety of music in the basement bar every night as DJ Papa G plays non-stop reggae.

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Stephanie Korney