Have you ever wondered where the hot spots for professional athletes are in Chicago? Have you ever wished you could see an athlete after a game or wondered where to go to spot the athletes? Chicago is a huge city, but there are always tons of athletes hanging around town. Here’s a go-to guide for where to spot the Chicago athletes, and the best days to see them.
Weekday or Weekend?
Many celebrities don’t enjoy crowds of people swarming them at dinner so they will opt for a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night on the town. This allows them to experience city dining, but in a quiet setting. On the other hand, many athletes enjoy going out on Friday and Saturday nights, so places that offer food and nightlife are popular options for them to go to. Look for trendy bars such as Public House and Rockit Bar and Grille.
Before or After a game?
Most of the time, the players have to be at the arenas very early in order to run through practice, study their opponents and prepare for the game, so most likely you won’t be seeing any athletes before the games. But after the games, around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., many of them step out for dinner and then go out.
River North, Gold Coast or Lincoln Park?
River North and Gold Coast:
This is where the majority of athletes live. Obviously a lot of them have money and the apartments in these areas are very extravagant and trendy. Also, many of the athletes have practices in the downtown area, so the river north and gold coast areas are where many of them reside permanently due to convenience.
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner?
It is hard to spot many professional sports players for breakfast and lunch because many of them grab food on the go or cook for themselves. But, most of the time the athletes will eat out for dinner and you will see many of them at restaurants around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.. Don’t expect to be seeing athletes in the main dining rooms of restaurants because many of them get their own private rooms and ask to be seated separately from the public.
Top Venues Chicago Athletes Have Been Seen:
Hub/Sub 51: 51 W. Hubbard St.
This Chicago hot spot is crawling with Chicago sports players and celebrities alike. Often after games, many of the athletes have been seen grabbing grub or beers here. When the sun goes down, this trendy restaurant also turns into a club where many players like to hang out.
Who’s been spotted: Kyle Korver, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have all been seen here. Leol Deng from the Bulls, Jay Cutlerfrom the Bearsand many Sox players such as Gordon Beckham.
Public House: 400 N. State St.
This place just opened a few months ago and it’s already one of my favorite places to go. It’s extremely hard to get into, but the food is good and ambiance is even better. It’s a great place to go out to at night and the place is always crawling with young adults, including some athletes.
Who’s been spotted: The Cub’s Ryan Dempster, Adam Burish and Blackhawks Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland and Duncan Keith.
Underground: 56 W. Illinois Street
Doesn’t look like much from the outside because it is underground, as the name implies, but the venue offers a hip dance club. The music is always good and the club is always packed, especially from Thursdays to Sundays.
Who has been spotted:
Derrick Rose, along with many Bears players. The Blackhawks started their Stanley cup championship bar crawl here last summer. Also, Ronnie Brewer, Keith Bogan and The New York Jets’s David Harris.
Joe’s Stone Crab, Gibson’s Steakhouse, Sunda:
All three of these restaurants are amazing, and many teams that come from out of town go to these restaurants because there is good food and service. Plus, athletes can get their own private rooms and be away from the public or get a table in the back.
Who’s been spotted:
Troy Brouwer, Lovie Smith, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, many LA Lakers players and New York Yankees.
*There are also tons of celebrities that have been seen eating at these restaurants.
Other Sports Venues:
You can bet that professional athletes like sports besides their own. Going to other games and watching your favorite Chicago teams in the off-season is great way to spot athletes. My friends saw Kris Versteeg and Brent Seabrook at the Cubs game last season and we saw Michael Jordan at a Bulls game a few seasons ago.
You never know where you are going to spot the pros. My friend saw Patrick Sharp at Starbucks last year and I saw Jonathan Toews at the Gold Coast Bentley dealership last spring. Another one of my friends saw Lebron James at N9NE steakhouse in the fall. If you are in the city enough, most likely, at one point or another you will spot some athlete or celebrity.
**Check out the Chicago Tribune’s About Last Night Blog if you really want to keep updated with sports stars and celebrities.**