California Clipper

Bar, Water Park, and Cocktail Bar · Humboldt Park
1002 N California Ave (at Augusta Blvd.), Chicago, IL 60622, United States
Closed until 8:00 PM (Show more)
  • Mon–Fri, Sun
    • 8:00 PM–1:30 AM
  • Sat
    • 8:00 PM–2:00 AM
$ $ $ $
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. Discover & Visa)
Outdoor Seating:

home of the purple martin ~ Chicago's only bar with grape soda on the gun ~ board games ~ no television


Based on 132 votes

People like this place

  • What you need to know
    Sharon Z.
    "Order a Purple Martin at the California Clipper"(3 Tips)
    Salllie Ann W.
    "Whiskey Sour and Sidecar are my favorites"(2 Tips)
    Jake S.
    "... grape soda on tap, board games, and no televisions (all good things). Be..."(4 Tips)
    Cathy W.
    "Love the live honky tonk music!"(5 Tips)
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  • Recent
  • Popular

43 tips and reviews.

  • Filter by taste:
  • all tips and reviews
  • cocktails
  • purple martin
  • sidecar
  • comfy booths
  • board games
  • music
  • trendy
  • great value
  • tamales
  • good for dates
  • vodka
  • beer
  • staff
  • bingo
  • vintage decor
  • whiskey sours
  • egg creams
  • Tateysue

    WAS greatest bar in Chicago. Renovation and large spherical ice cube = $12 cocktail. But the ambiance is 2nd to none.

    Tateysue · March 5
  • Grace A.

    Though I wish there was still a menu of weird $5 cocktails, the cozy vibe in here is just the same. Grab a board game and stay put.

    Grace Aldridge · January 14
  • Mark B.

    Nice little bar with live country music and great old timey cocktails.

    Mark Brouch · November 15, 2014
  • Satish

    If only I could replicate this lounge everywhere. Throwback era ambience + eclectic music + interesting crowd entice one to explore creative cocktails with equally interesting names here.

    Satish · October 27, 2014
  • Emily J.

    The cocktail menu is so extensive it has a table of contents. There's something for everyone.

    Emily Jurlina · October 26, 2014
  • Alice

    Recently reopened with an extensive cocktail menu. Lots of drinks under $10, but cash only!

    Alice · September 16, 2014
  • Eric M.

    Best Manhattans in Chicago

    Eric Munn · June 14, 2014
  • Salllie Ann W.

    Whiskey Sour and Sidecar are my favorites

    Salllie Ann Westbrook · April 6, 2014
  • Katie P.

    Try the champagne cocktail!

    Katie Palmer · March 28, 2014
  • Andrew I.

    Purple Martins are an experience

    Andrew Inman · June 29, 2013
  • Alex U.

    Between midnight and 1 AM on weekends, these wonderful guys come through with Mexican tamales. The dude with the red cooler has some great ones... 5 for $5.

    Alex Uribe · April 13, 2013
  • Timmy S.

    Come to the clip, look for Trish, get her something to drink that's "wild"! Well worth it!!!!!

    Timmy S · March 9, 2013
  • Jake S.

    They have grape soda on tap, board games, and no televisions (all good things). Be aware: they do NOT accept international IDs at the door (passports are ok).

    Jake Smith · February 10, 2013
  • Max M.

    Tom Collins. Do it.

    Max Mearsheimer · January 20, 2013
  • J H.

    Get there before 10 or run the risk of waiting in line. And play some jenga!!

    J H · July 5, 2012
  • Time Out Chicago

    The Clipper is a photo booth away from exhibiting the same shabby hipster cool as Goldstar. Slide into one of the gorgeous old booths on a Friday or Saturday for no-cover live rockabilly groups.

    Time Out Chicago · June 4, 2012
  • Time Out Chicago

    The Clipper is a photo booth away from exhibiting the same shabby hipster cool as Goldstar. Slide into one of the gorgeous old booths on a Friday or Saturday for no-cover live rockabilly groups. -LB Read more

    Time Out Chicago · May 29, 2012
  • Brad C.

    Skip the High Life, order a Tom Collins

    Brad Chmielewski · April 1, 2012
  • kirby

    nice bartender gave me a water with a lime AND a cherry - I call it "the Mind Reader"

    kirby · February 13, 2012
  • Cathy W.

    Love the live honky tonk music!

    Cathy W. · January 31, 2012
  • Charles E.

    Not going back.

    Charles Edge · January 14, 2012
  • peppermint 0.


    peppermint 002 · December 7, 2011
  • VJ_VirinZy M.

    MusicLiveStyle California Clipper ^^

    VJ_VirinZy MusicStyle · December 6, 2011
  • Men's Health Mag

    This bar proudly advertises the fact they don¹t have a TV. Instead its BingoMondays, live rockability, and board games. Hey, nothing wrong with a littlesocialization.

    Men's Health Mag · November 22, 2011
  • Robber

    This is the best bar in the area, hands down. Great people and great drinks. Movies on Tuesdays!

    Robber · October 12, 2011
  • Slamber ✂.

    Everyone that works there are absolute tools, owners especially. I will never step foot anywhere near this shit place. Don't waste your time and money.

    Slamber ✂ · July 24, 2011
  • Shane S.

    The staff is rad.

    Shane Serafini · May 25, 2011
  • Diego R.

    It's in a semi shady part of town, but it's one of the coolest places in the entire city. Vintage decor, well made cocktails, live swing music and soul on the weekends. Read more

    Diego Rufo · March 29, 2011
  • DjDado H.

    So Tired..

    DjDado Hops · February 11, 2011
  • Esquire

    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. The drinks are stiff -- get a manhattan -- and you can play bingo for inflatable rabbits. What's not to love? Read more

    Esquire · February 1, 2011
  • Rachel B.

    Fill up on Rusty Nails and then use one stall with a door (not a curtain) in the Ladies room.

    Rachel Baker · January 29, 2011
  • Chyntia R.

    California Clipper

    Chyntia Renizha · January 8, 2011
  • alfian f.


    alfian fanny · December 2, 2010
  • Sharmika F.

    so i wanted to come by and check out the bingo, guess bingo :( #majorfail

    Sharmika Failla · November 30, 2010
  • Mazda

    It is unclear what occupied the commercial space between 1918 and 1937, when it reopened as the California Clipper Tavern. We even have a ghost story of our own.

    Mazda · October 26, 2010
  • candace c.

    Mondays can be boring, but not here. Bingo night!

    candace corner · April 27, 2010
  • Time Out Chicago

    When to go: There’s free live (usually country) music Friday and Saturday nights at 10p.m., grab a comfy booth in the front room if you can handle the volume. Read more

    Time Out Chicago · April 8, 2010
  • chris b.

    Wanna loosen the gears quickly? Go for a Sidecar, but be warned its too smooth

    chris b · April 8, 2010
  • Lisa W.

    Love the vodka gimlets here. And the California Egg Cream is a sweet fizzy drink.

    Lisa W · February 23, 2010
  • Joshua H.

    Ditto on the Purple Martin. Do it.

    Joshua Hughes · December 20, 2009
  • Mike Y.

    Tuesday double header film night.

    Mike Yoho · October 24, 2009
  • Brian B.

    Bingo Mondays. If you win a prize, expect to be ridiculed by hosts that think they're funny.

    Brian B · September 17, 2009
  • Sharon Z.

    Order a Purple Martin at the California Clipper

    Sharon Zaugh · July 28, 2009

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