California Clipper

Bar, Cocktail
$ $
1002 N California Ave (at Augusta Blvd.)
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 384-2547
8:00pm - 1:30am
8:00pm - 1:30am
8:00pm - 1:30am
8:00pm - 1:30am
8:00pm - 1:30am
8:00pm - 2:00am
8:00pm - 1:30am

Walking into Califonia Clipper is like walking into the 1930s; great drinks, live music by great bands, beautiful wood work, and a great staff make this bar one of a kind.


  • Not going back.
  • The Clipper is a photo booth away from exhibiting the same shabby hipster cool as Goldstar. Slide into one of the gorgeous old booths on a Friday or Saturday for no-cover live rockabilly groups.
  • Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. The drinks are stiff -- get a manhattan -- and you can play bingo for inflatable rabbits. What's not to love?
  • Tuesday double header film night.
  • Order a Purple Martin at the California Clipper
  • Come to the clip, look for Trish, get her something to drink that's "wild"! Well worth it!!!!!
  • They have grape soda on tap, board games, and no televisions (all good things). Be aware: they do NOT accept international IDs at the door (passports are ok).
  • Skip the High Life, order a Tom Collins
  • It's in a semi shady part of town, but it's one of the coolest places in the entire city. Vintage decor, well made cocktails, live swing music and soul on the weekends.
  • When to go: Theres free live (usually country) music Friday and Saturday nights at 10p.m., grab a comfy booth in the front room if you can handle the volume.
  • Ditto on the Purple Martin. Do it.
  • California Clipper
  • It is unclear what occupied the commercial space between 1918 and 1937, when it reopened as the California Clipper Tavern. We even have a ghost story of our own.
  • Mondays can be boring, but not here. Bingo night!
  • Bingo Mondays. If you win a prize, expect to be ridiculed by hosts that think they're funny.
  • Though I wish there was still a menu of weird $5 cocktails, the cozy vibe in here is just the same. Grab a board game and stay put.
  • If only I could replicate this lounge everywhere. Throwback era ambience + eclectic music + interesting crowd entice one to explore creative cocktails with equally interesting names here.
  • Recently reopened with an extensive cocktail menu. Lots of drinks under $10, but cash only!
  • Purple Martins are an experience
  • Tom Collins. Do it.

Nearby places

2801 W Chicago Ave (at California Ave)
954 N California Ave (at Augusta Blvd)
2600 W Iowa St (at Rockwell)