Tasting a little "Eye Candy": Notes on one sexy Chicago hot spot

Couple at bar

Despite any loopy dating stories I may tell, I know Chicago has got some nice Eye Candy Potential -- you know, fun, sexy spots where you can soak up its decor, admire the mixed crowd, sip on a few nice cocktails, listen to great music, do a little flirting... It basically combines all the must-haves of a good single scene, which not only makes for a fun night, but also a place you wouldn't mind checking out again with your friends.

That's why, in talking with my girls, I thought I'd finally put my theory to the test by picking one presumably sexy spot. And as opposed to barhop, just "commit" to the location and see what the night brought. So, I decided to give it whirl -- at Chicago's Bull & Bear in River North.

To really help me get a lay of the land, I opted to
enlist the help of some of my closest girlfriends*: my partner in
Chicago madness, Marisol, a former classmate Vivian and then two
other awesome pals, Tasha
and Katrina.
I was banking on their different tastes to help give me a feel for the

After a full night, I can say the trip there was certainly a fun-filled time. And while I can't unload every sordid detail, what I can do is share some notes with you...

Before the Madness: I was already a huge fan of the strong, dark decor, so I totally dug the space.

Soon, we ordered some fun-sounding drinks (with price tags that didn't sting) and the truffle fries -- which were extremely yummy, by the way -- and waited for the crowd to pile in. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long. The girls were already feeling good because of the friendly waitstaff and hot music (although Tasha wasn't a huge fan, but I think most of us dug music we knew). By 10:30, it was packed...

Sifting through the candy bowl: When the place was jamming, there was no doubt that any lady single and ready to mingle would appreciate the ratio of men to women. I'd say the ladies and I agreed it was easily 65/35 -- sweet numbers in my book.

Sweet Developments: The night took a turn for the interesting when one of the guys from one of the tapper tables boldly made his way up to our booth and started hanging out, trying to catch Marisol's attention. They chatted it up, but not before his pals bought us ladies a round of shots. (Nice move.) And, over the course of the night, the rest of the girls and I chatted it up with guys on the floor while checking out everyone else. After all, there was definitely tons to observe.

Before we knew it, the night was done, and my girls and I were, too! Some notes from the ladies:

"The guy selection was good but it's hard to mingle during the mad rush between 10:30-12. DJ was a 10. Love the idea of the tapper tables. Staff was friendly. Bathrooms were clean. Overall I think its a good place to meet guys b/c of the guy to girl ratio."

"There was just so much going on in there that I think I'd like it better as an after work spot as opposed to a Saturday night spot... I'd definitely recommend reserving a table in advance.  It was so crowed in there that having a table make people watch fun and painless.  The crowd at B&B all seemed to be having a good time - I witnessed at least two dance offs, lol..."

"Friendly crowd... Attentive down to earth waitstaff... Great dj... Awesome cooling fan!"


  • With a rockin' DJ, creative drinks, great decor and tasty eats, Bull & Bear is worth checking out, although weekend promises to offer a crazy overflow of people if you don't mind. 
  • It's definitely got a "Guy Spot/City Life" vibe for sure! Ladies, there is a nice selection here...
  • Reserve tables if you can and get there early! The crowd piles in quickly and getting in could be harder later.
  • When it comes to dress code, almost anything goes -- from cargo shorts, tanks, tees, flip flops to more party-ish. Girls definitely did it up in their attire here, though (Note to the guys: you can step it up a bit for the ladies... Just a bit!)
  • Drink prices surprisingly not that overwhelming given the location. At an average of $9 - $12 for slick mixed drinks, not too bad! Beers were also pretty reasonably priced.

Verdict Says: Thumbs Up.
If you're into a super-trendy, young and professional scene, it's certainly a higher end sports bar worth adding to your list. Definitely a nice spot with lots of guys and an especially good ratio for the ladies.

Yes, I'd say this one is Eye Candy worthy, indeed.

* = Names changed to protect the innocent.

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