I wanted to do karaoke for my 25th birthday, but I hang around the suburban K-Bar scenes. I wanted something in the city that wouldn't be too expensive, friendly atmosphere, great song book, etc. I did HOURS of research all over different Chicago search sites (such as this one) trying to figure out which would be the perfect bar for me. For some reason, Blue Frog didn't pop up in most of my searches despite the fact that karaoke seems to be a major part of the draw here. I only happened upon the name through a review for another K-Bar. There aren't many reviews on this site for Blue Frog, but there are a LOT out there, and TONS of positive feedback, most of which said the same thing, to the effect of "This place is a dive, and at first I was hesitant about it, but then for some reason it turned out to be one of the best bar nights EVER!" Well, after reading more than 40 reviews to that effect, I was sold.
So this past Saturday I walked in at 8 PM, my immediate thought was "Oh God, this IS a dive." The little alarms went off in my head and I wanted to leave. But no, I knew if I was feeling the same thing as past reviewers, the fun must be coming! And it did!! First of all, THANK GOD my party got there at 8:30 PM, because we got a great table (this place is TINY), and this bar was PACKED SOLID by 10. The KJ (karaoke jockey), Mary, was hilarious and amazing. The book was totally solid, TONS of great selections, and the small size of the place made it feel like a sing-a-long in a basement (I defy you not to join in with Toto's "Africa" or Wilson Phillip's "Hold On"!). The drinks were strong, too...I ordered a rum and coke, it was tall and DEFINITELY a double-shot, a good deal for $7 or so, and ZERO attitude from the kindly bartenders is a major plus. Lots of great little fried foods to line the stomach with, too (fried mac 'n cheese is a weakness of mine). The only downside here was the size of this teeny bar, but dang, I will be BACK ASAP!!!
Pros: Friendly, crazy atmosphere. Like a big 'ol party!
Cons: Tiny place = get there early, especially on a Saturday night.