By Joseph Cuniffe
When I heard a new magic place was opening, I invited my brother, who really likes magic. We drove to 5050 N. Clark Street, but we couldn’t find the place: there was no sign outside, and we walked into a laundry at that address.
Big washing machines were spinning around, and a woman held out a pair of socks and asked if they were mine. I walked out and checked the place next door, and found that, no, we were at the right address. Then I realized it was all part of the fun: someone pushed a button, a door opened, and we were inside a world of magic.
The new Chicago Magic Lounge, with craft cocktails, delicious small bites, and a cool atmosphere, is a multi-million dollar project built on the site of a big old commercial laundry. With an art-deco-style stage, a bar, and many tables, the place has a number of enjoyable features. You can sit at the bar and watch magic, or go inside the Blackstone Cabaret, named for the great magicians Harry Blacksone, Sr. and Jr.
Two astonishing card magicians performed at our table, and people enjoyed food inspired by the well-remembered former Chicago German restaurant with magic, Schulien’s. Then the mainstage show started, featuring some of the best magicians I have ever seen, Arthur Trace and Max Maven.
On Mondays and Tuesdays, they add jazz and vocalists to the magic. Wednesdays the Chicago magician David Parr holds forth. Thursdays through Saturdays are mainstage magic shows, and Sunday afternoons offer a family-friendly show.
There’s about a cover charge for the main room, and for $10 more you can visit the more exclusive 654 Club for more up-close magic.
Schulien’s is history, and so is the New York Lounge at Lincoln and Foster. So it is especially welcome to have such a magical spot in Chicago. We had fun, and it’s a terrific spot to check-out! 5050 N. Clark, call 312-366-4500.