City Lounge Additional Photos
Just two weeks ago I spoke of a venue that was the epitome of the word lounge: plush seating, low lighting and a mood mellow enough you’ll contemplate whipping up a batch of special brownies. What I didn’t expect was to encounter a polar opposite under the same title so soon.
They named this paradox City Lounge (3455 E. Layton Ave., Cudahy), and as if the name weren’t perplexing enough, its home on the south side left me with that cockeyed look my neighbor gives me when I answer the door in my Tommy Hilfiger overalls as “Mambo No. 5” blares in the background. “Am I having a seventh grade dance in my apartment? No. Am I reliving some insipid moment from my youth through song? You bet your ass I am.”
Back to Cudahy, a neon sign consumes an outer wall, and you ask yourself for a minute if you got turned around somewhere and ended up on Water Street. The inside of City Lounge raises just as many questions. Although everything has a clean feel due to the fact that it was opened as a smoke-free establishment even before the ban, its interior is more embellished than Main Street at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I waited patiently for a swarm of costumed characters to parade past the faux streetlamps and pose for photo ops. Instead, I watched in dismay as a group of seemingly washed up pom-pom dancers intermittently stormed the floor with renditions of old pre-game routines and line dances. “They’re all really nice girls and would probably teach you if you wanted,” said a bartender. I decidedly left it to the professionals but almost didn’t have a choice when I was nearly swept away in the commotion on a trip to the restrooms, which are inconveniently located immediately off the dance floor.
Thursday’s are “Rock-N-Country Night,” where you can score $2 domestic bottles and $.50 wings while enjoying an eclectic mix of country jams and ’90s dance hits. Perhaps the overalls from my freshman year of high school would’ve been welcomed. A decent size crowd had formed, but the bartenders remained pleasant and efficient refusing to let our beers or bowl of baseball peanuts go empty. They also didn’t judge as I awkwardly attempted to pull my bar stool closer to the bar with several unsuccessful tries before noticing that it was bolted to the floor.
While Miller Lite and cheap wings aren’t necessarily the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, III Dachshunds Beer just might be, and it’s served exclusively at City Lounge. Named after the brew masters canine companions, the brews feature names such as Ankle Biter Ale, a traditional German ale with sweet caramel flavor and the English-style Howling Hounds Honey Wheat. Also on tap was Lindemans Framboise, a lambic beer fermented with raspberries and served with the tingle of sparkling wine. A sample had me tempted to stay for just one more, but we all know that staying for one quite often turns into staying till 1, and I’m going to save my energy for their “Manic Martini Monday” where their list of more than 20 martinis can be had for only $5 a piece.