Over the past year, it seems as if there's a new nightclub opening every other month. Some of the newest additions this year include: Parliament, Underground (renovation), Castle (renovation), American Junkie, Concord Music Hall, and the reopening of Green Dolphin. Whether you're looking for an opulent lounge to sip on some champagne or an ultra mega club to dance the night away, Chicago has it all.
Let's face it; nightclubs these days don't have a very long shelf life. They come and go like the seasons. After living in Chicago for nearly six years, I'm still able to see the same nightlife venues with their doors open every weekend. It's not mere luck that these establishments are still open; it's the masterminds behind the closed doors that are able to continuously adapt and innovate in a fast paced industry.
There's a select group of people who has helped put Chicago on the map as one of the best party cites in the nation. Here are the top three Chicago influential people who have helped redefine and shaped the city's nightlife scene (in no particular order):
Lukas King & Jeff Callahan -- These two individuals were once your typical nightlife promoters. They've quickly climbed their way up to host some of the biggest Chicago musical festivals such as North Coast and Spring Awakening. In 2013, theMID was #40 on the DJMag's top 100 clubs in the world and #5 in the US alone. Try and think of a DJ that hasn't graced the stage at theMID and you will surely be scrambling for answers. Their next project involves opening a 1,600 capacity music club called Concord Musica Hall that will have live performances from various indie and well established artists.
Billy Dec & Arturo Gomez -- When it comes to the restaurant and nightlife groups in Chicago, no one has embraced technology and social media with a sense of purpose like Billy & Arturo. Their keen eye for design can be seen in all aspects of their ventures: Sunda, Rockit Bar, and Underground. Their newly renovated nightlife venue, Underground, has already caught the attention of the biggest celebrities such as Robin Thicke, Aaron Paul, and Mark Wahlberg. Underground has set the bar in Chicago as one of the most exclusive nightclubs, where you'll be waiting in line for quite some time before getting in. Their nightlife culture isn't dependant on booking the top DJs in the world, but instead attracting the right type of clienteles who're able to spark the nightclub's energy.
Dino Gardiakos -- As the owner and resident DJ of Spybar and partner for Wavefront Musical festival, it's easy to see why this Chicago native makes the list. Dino is responsible for organizing the city's only beach music festival two years in a row. With his vision in what true electronic music movement should encompass, he continues to shape Chicago's already heavily established house music scene. He has a deep embedded root in the underground culture where he continuously searches for the next up and coming talent. With this in mind, Rolling Stone recently named Spybar as one of the top best dance clubs in the country.
It's exciting to see what they have in store for the next few years. Perhaps we'll see a plethora of new nightlife venues and music festivals, or maybe we've hit a plateau. Regardless, it's undeniable that these gentlemen have been a true pioneer in helping shape Chicago's nightlife industry.