Weegee’s Lounge

February 13th, 2009: As seen on Archive (PDF)

Photo: Gavin Paul

An old Polish dive outfitted in disco balls on the outskirts of Humboldt becomes a whiskey knock-back homage to an iconic crime scene photographer. 

The flickering strobe of one of Chicago’s blue light cameras, the city’s newest crime-stopping technique, constantly sits in the corner of your eye at this ’40s-theme cocktail bar. But Weegee’s occupies a spot on the western trenches of Humboldt Park that’s less theft and violent crime and more strutting grounds for “working girls.”

It’s a neighborhood clean-up project of sorts, one that consciously ventures into the wild, wild west-of-the-Logan-Square-buzz. Alex Huebner and his wife bought out Chris’s Bar, a Polish dive outfitted in disco balls, fourteen shades of brown and poker machines, and freshened it up with jet blue paint and an “everybody knows your name” vibe.

A photography graduate of Chicago’s Art Institute, Huebner has an affinity for an immigrant-era, black-and-white crime scene photographer by the name of Arthur Fellig, a.k.a. “Weegee,” hence the name of the bar. So don’t be surprised when you find original Weegee prints speckled along the walls and a photo booth in the back.

To achieve the sharp class of the target era, cocktails come styled for Humphrey Bogart-esque drinkers. Order your Knickerbocker, Sidecar or Delmonico ($8) with cool and utter confidence. Wines are crisp and on the citrus side, at a round $6. Beers average them same, run heavy and pull from several different regions and styles—California, Wisconsin, Quebec—with a fine import selection from Alex’s native Germany.