The premier leather bar in Chicago, the Cellblock lies on the northern edge of the Halsted St. bar strip in the Lakeview neighborhood. Though it's primary clientele is the leather and bear crowd, it is open to everyone and the bar staff and customers are very welcoming to all. This is particularly true on Thursdays, when the bar offers $1.50 well drinks and draft beer and the crowd is a cross section of gay Chicago.
The bar is divided into two main areas. The front bar is open seven days a week to the general public. Along one wall is the bar itself, and opposite that is a rarely used dance floor, though the music played in the bar is mainly dance music, with live DJs spinning Friday through Sunday. Towards the back is where you'll find the pool table, an ATM, and on Friday and Saturday nights, you’ll also find the Leather Cell by Male Hide. It’s a great place to pick up any last minute leather items or accessories.
The back bar is only open Thursday through Saturday and a strict dress code is enforced. (At least one major article of leather or uniforms, no white sneakers, chinos, fluffy sweaters and/or heavy cologne.) It is divided into two sections; the Holding Cell where you'll find another bar and a shoe shine stand, and the Yard, which is primarily for socializing. For the adventurous, the Yard contains a chain web, a wooden cross, and a narrow steel cage.
More information on the Cellblock, including daily drink specials and a calendar of special events can be found on it's website at www.cellblock-chicago.com.
Came in Friday for $4 drinks. Only two people there. Asked for Stoli. The bartender suggested Grey Goose and got special bottles from the back.
Had four drinks. It was rot-gut; definitely not grey goose -- probably not even vodka. Met nice guys and had some fun. But won't be going back there anytime soon. The Friday $4 drinks is a scam or the bartender is an con. Which is it?
If you aren't into leather (I'm not really), this place is still a good place for $1 bottles on some nights.
Visited Cell Block this past Labor Day weekend. They say it's never fully recovered from recent changes. HINT.
....Open the back room on a regular basis and not at management's whim. The clubs on Clark Steet are much more fun!
This bar has never recovered from all the changes it has gone through i the last year. I was there at midnight Saturday and there were THREE GUYS in the back room.
The leather action is now all at The Eagle and Touche.
I just look forward to seeing the CellBlock reopen! I believe the recent changes will restore this icon to it's former glory.
I've always been proud to head for Roger's bar to hang with the 'boys' on occasion..don't see that changing!
Do the new owners know what they want this bar to be? It was once the premiere leather bar in Chicago, what is it now? Who knows.
Web page was much brighter and better before. New management should look into that.
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