As a sort of disclaimer, i had this "series" of articles written many months ago when there might have been more interest, but as many of you are aware, the article feature was on hiatus for a good part of this year. As such, some of the details and features of the clubs described may have changed. I have edited in some of the more recent changes that i know of, but for the most part, they didn't change the entire article(s) much. If you actually know any of the other changes, you can describe them in the comments...
Someone did once recommend me writing an article on my "extensive" knowledge and experience of "Chicago" clubs after i wrote numerous long winded replies to TUSCLers asking anything about the Chicago scene. There have been numerous articles about Tijuana, many of which have been helpful. Make no mistake, there is absolutely no comparison between Chicago and Tijuana (or Detroit, Miami, Houston, etc...) Now, i don't consider myself to be an expert or anything. I just seem to talk about my experiences more than the average area monger on this site. Some of these clubs (a select few really) i've gone to scores of times with hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars spent over the years. So, yes, i do know a thing or two about the workings of those clubs. If you have questions about local transportation and lodging accommodations available (Uber, car rentals, hotels, etc), i can't be really helpful there, as i am not a traveler and do not use any of those more than even occasionally for the most part.
I did limit myself to Chicago area clubs and by that i mean generally within an hour or so from the city limits. There is no generic description of a Chicago club like there might be with a Vegas club or a Miami club or a Detroit club. One thing to note is that there are only 3 clubs (and that includes gentlemen's clubs, bars, lounges, everything) in the actual city and they all "basically" suck. The only thing in common is that they are generally expensive and have attractive girls. You have the Admiral Theatre fairly close to O'hare about 6 miles east on 90, VIP's near downtown and Pink Monkey somewhere between downtown and Wrigleyville. That's it. The rest are all in the suburbs, including several in Northwest Indiana, or shady areas (and i don't mean green and leafy), and don't necessarily reflect the ethnic diversity or (lack of sometimes) of the town they're incorporated in. And the only clubs within 10 minutes or so of the city are mostly these little obscure bars and lounges. There are 2 actual clubs in the village of Stone Park (Scores and Gold Club) and one in the village of Elk Grove (Heavenly Bodies). Those are the closest clubs. The rest are way more than a hop, skip and jump away.
So which clubs made the cut? I tried to balance clubs between popularity and quality and value (which includes mileage). Clubs with popularity but absolutely no value IMO (Scores) i didn't include. There are no clubs with great value that aren't relatively popular, but great value is pretty much an oxymoron concerning Chicago clubs. There may be a club or two with decent value (relatively), but largely unknown as well. So i narrowed it down to a dirty dozen, no pun intended, or so of strip clubs out of around 30. As i'm already rambling too much about and falling behind, i'll have to break it down in multi articles, written back-to-back-to-back so they "should" all post within a very short time of each other. Consider these articles like a mini-review medley of sorts. If you have been to any of these clubs, you probably won't learn anything you didn't already know. If you want more comprehensive info and details of the specific clubs, well you have TUSCL reviews (not to toot my own horn, but my own reviews of several of these clubs are pretty current and detailed). Anyway, enough of the chit chat...
Out in the boonies.
If you're traveling to Chicago, these clubs will be way out there and probably a last option unless you're a hard core monger that wants to try everything. By way out i mean over an hour away from most Chicago neighborhoods. I pretty much included them because, there really aren't many decent options and the pickings are just that slim.
Silver Slipper Saloon, Ottawa, IL.
Why would you visit this area? There's a decent state park (Starved Rock) in the nearby town of Utica, if you're into visiting parks solo. Not much else. The nearest decent sized city is Joliet about 20-30 minutes away, which isn't a bad place to live in the state if you like strip clubs as that is probably the closest to all the clubs worth visiting being near I-55 and I-80 (south side suburbs, some of these more obscure clubs, Indiana, central Illinois, even the quad cities of Iowa and Illinois, and East St. Louis if you consider St. Louis a Chicago suburb, lol, some might). It's still quite a stretch to call this a Chicago club as it is in the middle of nowhere.
Having said all that, it's a mid-level club that used to be a larger dive. Evening cover is $7. Has been remodeled and improved over the years. Previously did not serve food or offer VIP rooms and dances were strictly one-way contact. All that is changed now from a few years ago. Full nudity throughout the club and relatively inexpensive full liquor, which is very unusual and almost unique in the "Chicago" area and has probably the better if not best stage shows "currently" available with great pussy views and fairly lengthy boob motorboating for your dollar, literally.
Fairly low 2-way contact nude dances are $25. It was previously $20 (and only one-way contact) up until several years ago, but a local "skin tax" from the previous governor changed that supposedly, or that is what management told the dancers who tell the customers. Moderate to high contact (depending on dancer) VIPs starting at $175 per half hour and $300 per hour which is very reasonable for "Chicago" despite the lack of extras. About a dozen girls, above average in attractiveness overall, working on weekdays/nights and almost twice as many on weekends.
Blackjacks, Elgin, IL
This club for a long time was a pasty club that served alcohol until about several years ago. Now it's a nude club, but no alcohol. I think that might be the very first time, i've ever seen a club make that type of transition. I've seen it the other way around with poor results, so maybe they're onto something. Nudity in general is very rare in "Chicago" clubs so it could help to stand out among all the other competition. You can get alcohol anywhere, ITC or near the club; naked girls, not as much. Even so, the "nudity" at Blackjacks is limited to dances and VIPs like a couple other clubs (Atlantis in Ford Heights and PoleKatz in Bridgeview). You won't see it at the stage, unfortunately, topless only, if that.
That nudity did come at a price. Evening cover is more expensive now at $10-$15, although a drink ticket should be included in the cover. Nude lappers are $50! Topless ones are $30. Almost no one pays these prices though and PLs usually wait for a semi-hourly two-for-one promotion. Even then they still try to up sell you by offering a more "private" dance for $20 more (one time fee, but you have to pay every time you go back there so it's not like a wristband) or go to the regular area. VHM dances can happen at either area, but more likely in the "private" area, but either situation is more dependent on the dancer than the bouncer.
Just limit your dances to two before they become even more unreasonable. They also have VIP options at $250-$450+ per half/hour and hour, which sounds expensive (and is) but is a better value option than getting dances for the same amount of time, especially considering that extras are available in the VIP. But there is a lot of variation in expected behavior in the dancers here (as there likely is anywhere) so definitely clear things up while negotiating.
Edit: the VIP has apparently changed in that they added a "premium" VIP and just raised the prices of the VIPs across the board. I thought this place was already grossly overpriced. Even if it was one of the very few extras "friendly" places in the area, it just makes it worth it even less.
Chantilly Lace and Exclusive Lingerie Boutique, Rockford, IL.
Technically lingerie "modeling" shops but closer to thinly veiled brothels, rather than strip clubs, they are the closest thing to a sure thing in probably the entire state. Would have given them the full(er) treatment, but i never visited them.
There's also another smaller, nude club in Ottawa for the dive fans called Lampliter. I think i've heard it described once or twice as Cheers with strippers. Yeah, no, but a certain subset of PLs seems to really like this type of atmosphere.
There's another club in Somonauk (which is an even more obscure town than Ottawa and harder to find as there are no major interstates or highways nearby), called High Heel Saloon. It's kind of like a poor man's version of Silver Slipper Saloon with full nudity and full liquor as well. Has no VIP options, but slightly higher mileage (moderate 2-way compared to low) in their regular dances; at least the topless ones as the nude dances are literally air dances.
Would you like some cheese with that wine?
These two clubs are actually closest to the city. Definitely uppity as they are in the more northern suburbs and relatively nicer areas.
Gold Club, Stone Park, IL
Gold Club is owned by the same people that own PoleKatz in Bridgeview. I don't know what possessed them to decide to open a club in this area. It's right next to Scores which despite being low mileage and overpriced is still the more popular club (brand). It's also right next to a convent or something which played a part in the club right next to them on the other side (Allure) being closed down. It's a larger, more upscale topless club. Mandatory valet is $6 and cover is $10 unless you use the text function available on their website for free entrance. These prices are for evening and late night as i have never gone there during the day.
Now i like PoleKatz and consider it to be one of the better clubs in the Chicago area, and Gold Club is run pretty much the same way, except it isn't exactly. See, unless you go on Thursdays and special event/promotion days (usually once or more every month), dances are $30 topless (compared to $20 at PoleKatz, the biggest difference along with the lack of nudity at Gold Club) for at best moderate contact with decent to good grinding. On Thursdays, the dances are $10. Much better value for the same exact dance, and the only day i would go.
So, i'm including this club, only because of their Thursday special, which seems like it's the busiest day at that club, possibly even more than weekends. Still doesn't get very packed, in terms of girls or customers. Their better talent seems to stay at PoleKatz. They also have VIP options, which don't get reduced on Thursdays ranging from $250-$1,500! for a quarter hour to their most expensive hour options. As it's not an extras club at all, avoid VIP/CR at all costs, no pun intended. $250 (their cheapest VIP option) should more than last you the entire night there on a Thursday unless you like drinking all of your money with the girls.
Heavenly Bodies, Elk Grove, IL.
The owner of this club used to own several similar clubs run basically the same way (pricing and rules for the most part). They included Cowboys, a black (or mostly black) nude club in Markham, worth visiting at the time, but closed over a decade ago and Skybox, a mixed nude club which i considered the better version of Heavenly Bodies at least in terms of value and experience, although HB on average had slightly to somewhat better quality of dancers IMO. I would have included Skybox if it was still around (was sold recently). Now this is the lone club left of the trio.
The selling point of this club is cheap drinks ($1.50 beer and $1 "minishots") and free "food" (usually consisting of cheap pizza, but during the day, burgers, sandwiches and fries are sometimes available) along with "value" dances. Unlike Gold Club, every day the dances are 2 for $25 or 5 for $50 or $60 depending on how comfortable of an area you want to be in. The club is technically a bikini bar, but the girls are allowed to go topless during dances. However, the dances are noticeably shorter at HB compared to the other clubs at less than 3 minutes and sometimes closer to 2 minutes.
Mileage is limited to moderate to high grind, but touching is essentially one-way only and any two-way touching is limited to literally at the waist as in you're expected to just leave your hands at her waist. You might be able to roam a little more very briefly, but not a lot as the surveillance is heavy and constantly monitored and their "rules" are strictly enforced. The daytime cover is $5 (which helps cover the food cost, i guess) and the nighttime cover is now $15 at least on weekends. There is a text function that can reduce, but not eliminate this somewhat pricey cover.
P.S. There are several bars and lounges in and around this area (Stone Park and Melrose Park). Basically lower contact, non nude or even non-topless dives, like groping a Hooters waitress, but no where near as young or attractive and they tend to be Latina, if you want to pay for that experience. Meh...
The one thing in common with most of the clubs reviewed so far are that they are largely to vastly white clubs outside of Gold Club which is definitely a pretty evenly mixed club between white, Latina and black dancers. If that's your thing, great. If not, you'll have to venture south where the "party" starts.
A couple of these clubs i've gone to less than even a handful of times in the last few years, so my details and info may not be current. Corrections and additions are always welcome.
Is "Chicago" living up to its reputation as an absolute wasteland for strip clubs? So far so good. Does it get any better? You'll have to stay tuned for part II to find out...
A primer on Chicago Strip Clubs (Part I)
January 12, 2019