The Run Down

Chicago's improv and comedy scene is unrivaled. You can find a show nearly every night of the week, but more often than not, that means hanging out somewhere in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, or thereabouts. For this guide, you'll catch a show on the other side of the Kennedy Expressway. You'll start a small theater in Logan Square making its own name on the Chicago comedy circuit. Afterwards, head up the street for late night patio drinks.

1. Improv @ Logan Square Improv

2. After Party @ Ludlow Liquors

1. Logan Square Improv

Good improv starts with a good community, and since 2018, Logan Square Improv has been the center of the neighborhood’s improv scene as the only dedicated improv theater in this part of town. And they make as much use of this space as possible running shows four to five nights a week. Here are a couple things to keep in mind.

– All shows are either free or a $5 suggested donation
– Currently requiring proof of vaccination
– Masks on while not drinking or eating
– Here’s a link to their events calendar

You’ll find the theater on a quiet corner several blocks from Logan Square’s main strip along Milwaukee Ave.

While it might be quiet outside, the space does a complete 180 once you walk through the doors. It’s high energy and feels a bit like stepping into a house party.

The theater is small but that means you‘re close to the stage and right in the middle of all the action.

This is from the “Thursday Show”– their original variety show featuring sketch, improv, and stand up. They’ve hosted over 100 of these shows so far and it’s packed like this nearly every Thursday.

2. Ludlow Liquors

To quote the wise words of Jay-Z, “after the show it’s the after party.” We’re taking the party just a couple of blocks away to Ludlow Liquors for some late night patio drinks.

It’s about a five minute walk from Logan Square Improv and just on the other of the Kennedy Expressway, which serves as the boundary line between Logan Square and Avondale.

As you walk under the highway and make it to the other side, you’ll find Ludlow sitting alone on a quiet residential block and emanating an orange glow from inside the bar.

The bar has got a 70’s retro style but with a modern twist to it. You can post up inside or you can head towards the back and take advantage of their huge backyard patio setup.There are about 8 or so long communal picnic tables in the back, and stadium style bench seating along the wall. Grab an open spot wherever you can.

FYI, for future reference, the patio is dog-friendly and a great summertime spot to bring your best pal. There are lots of chill dogs hanging about and friendly people giving good belly rubs (for the dogs, not you).This isn’t your typical beer and shot corner bar. While $3 shots of malort are appreciated, they have an inventive cocktail and food menu that really elevates what bar food can be.

They do these super simple, yet thoughtful smash burgers using locally sourced products, homemade pickles and specialty sauce made from a family recipe that’s been passed down.