937 N. Rush St. (1000N, 0E)
Chicago, IL 60611
Hey, it's Rush Street! You know what that means. Viagra Triangle, baby. Home to the pot-bellied sugar daddies and fake-baked ladies with flotation devices stuck in their chests. Let me lay it out for you. Whether you like or dislike the facts, is up to you. I've been to Le Passage several times (only on Saturday nights), usually for a birthday celebration or a girls' night of dancing. The music is standard top 40s clubbing music, with some mash-ups of 80s music thrown in for spice. It has always been packed, and past 1am you can barely squeeze through the crowd
Access to Le Passage is down a dark and narrow cobblestone alley (hence the name), along the rear quarter of the building also housing Le Colonial once under the same ownership and a very low key and quiet, a lovely space serving French Colonial Vietnamese cuisine—a nice place to chill beforehand.
If you just show up at the door of Le Passage, you'll most likely have to pay a $20 cover. If you're a dude, there's no question about it. If you're with a group of girls, you can probably talk the bouncer into letting you in or at least giving you a discount. Personally, I find it morally wrong to pay cover (i.e. I'm cheap), so I'll find a way around it by going through whichever promo group covers that club for the night.
If you're scratching your head right now and thinking, "What? Promo group? I thought people magically line up around the block to get into these clubs, thrilled to pay $20 for overpriced bottles of Patron." Well, you'd be wrong. Most clubs have a promo group that tries to draw in people for a particular night. If you investigate on Google, you can probably find out. I'll save you some time and tell you that for Saturdays, that group is Velvet Rope. If you email them to RSVP, they will give you complimentary entrance before midnight and reduced admission after midnight. For groups of six ladies, they offer a complimentary table and bottle of champagne before 11pm.
Back to the club: it's shaped like an upside-down L, and it's attached to a "culinary cocktail lounge" now known as Drawing Room since Three-Headed Productions took over in 2007 from Billy Dec's Rockit Productions. Most people stick to the long, narrow part of the club. It's divided into two sections. The left is where people with table service are located and the other side is where the bar and most of the traffic is. People are dancing everywhere, but near the bar it's hard to move, much less dance.
The crowd is standard for Rush Street. You'll see blingy Gucci clutches and belts—both real and fake—and enough animal prints to fill a zoo. Every single time I have gone here, there's always at least one girl who is out-of-her-senses trashed. You know what I mean. That girl. The one who can barely keep her eyes open, has her skirt jacked up so you can see her cooter, and has mistaken a column for a man and is grinding up on it. As for the gents, there are a mix of men. You'll see older ones who conveniently left their wedding bands at home. You'll also see a gaggle of douchebags who wear bedazzled Ed Hardy shirts and gelled back hair. And sprinkled in there are some normal guys who seem decent enough. It's not hard to find someone you'll accept a drink from, but I wouldn't be searching for a soul mate either.
People come here determined to party and have a damn good time. Drinks are flowing, music is pumping, and I suppose if you are down with that, you will enjoy yourself. But be warned: you must be intoxicated to have fun. I really can't see how anyone would love this place otherwise. Le Passage is owned by Three-Headed Productions, who are the brains behind Evil Olive, Junior's Sports Lounge, Salud Tequila Lounge and Cans Bar and Canteen. For more information, check out the Le Passage website. Until then, are you going out in those shoes?
~ Have a good story relating to this bar? Email us. ~