Cole's Bar

2338 N. Milwaukee Ave

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Photo credit: Kevin Allen

Cole's Bar is a tavern where neighbors rub shoulders with up and coming musicians, artists, and comedians. Cole's is always free. On Fridays and Saturdays local bands play starting at 9:30pm. On Wednesdays at 9:30pm Cole's hosts one of Chicago's best comedy open mics, featuring Alex Kumin and Sarah Squirm.


All bands, performers, and audience must be 21+ with valid ID no exceptions. Load in is between 8 and 9 pm. We have a full PA and sound setup.

To book a show contact and include available dates (be specific) and band name in the subject line. Include a link to the music and any other pertinent data in the body of the email. Touring bands - find 1 local supporting act and include the name of the local act and the date you need on the subject line.

We book in batches, every two to three weeks, for dates between 2-4 months in advance. If we didn’t get back to you, it means the booking period is full, so send a new date in a different month. A follow up email 1 or 2 weeks later also helps.


Contact: put “Art@coles” in the subject line . Put a link to your work and any information about scale /ammout of work available. Tracy switches the art every 2 months or so, so you might not get a reply for six months. For other info see: Anysquared Projects’ Website.

Other inquiries:


Please stop by the next day during business hours. We do not have a phone.


Please sign up in person Wednesdays between 5pm and 1am. You must stay until your time slot, or you may be crossed off. Sets are 4 minutes long. Slots are available all night, but any time you come there may be a 3 or 4 hour wait. We realize that this is inconvenient, but its the best we can do - we put up over 40 comedians every Wednesday and try to ensure a good mix between professionals and newbies. Bring a book and a snack.