Wicker Park party up for national award

By Colin Shively

Monday is not a day usually associated with nightlife partying. The first day of the work week is usually held in disdain and never looked forward to on Sunday night. However, in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, Monday nights entail a special party every week, where nightlife lovers can unwind to popular music and themes. Rehab at Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave., is quickly becoming one of the cities most popular parties and soon might win an award.

On Nov. 18, Paper magazine announced the nominations for its fifth annual Nightlife Awards and Rehab has been nominated for America’s Best Party.

Other nominations include eight parties in cities across the United States, including Miami, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Detroit, Seattle and Los Angeles.

In celebration of the news, Rehab hosted a special party event on Nov. 24, where entry was free all night and free champagne and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer were available at the beginning of the night.

“When we got news that Rehab was nominated for one of the best parties in America, I was just in shock,” said Derek Berry, creator and leader of Rehab. “Rehab has been happening for a while now, and I try to make it the best night of the week for the people who come.”

Every Monday between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., partygoers who RSVP to the Facebook invitation get free entry and three free drink tickets for either Pabst Blue Ribbon or champagne. After 10 p.m., beer and champagne are $2 and $4 respectively.

In summer 2009, Berry started negotiations with Debonair Social Club to create a party event that would cater to the young party-loving demographic.

The club realized the potential of the party because of Wicker Park’s growing population of young adults and college students.

“We are always trying to do interesting things with Rehab,” said Stephanie Niedospial, press coordinator for Debonair Social Club. “I think that Derek does a great job and throws a great party every Monday night. We are obviously really excited to hear that [Paper magazine] nominated [Rehab] for Best Party.”

To keep the party exciting, Berry is planning special themes to entice more people to come and take part in the dancing and nightly partying

at Rehab.

Rehab hosted a ’90s dance party night on Nov. 9, where local DJs played classic music from the ’90s, like “Macarena.”

“I think that is why we got nominated,” Berry said. “The people that come [to Rehab] make it the best night of the week. People dance, drink and meet new friends. You couldn’t ask for a better time. We even have people using Twitter talking about an amazing time they are having.”

Chris Watkins, an avid Rehab attendee, was happy, yet not surprised to hear about the nomination.

“I don’t think I have missed a Rehab Monday,” Watkins said. “I look forward to it every week because it lets me get out on a weekday and it is just a lot of fun. I really hope they win the award. Nothing beats Rehab.”

The winner of the fifth annual Americas Best Party is chosen by public voting and is announced on Dec. 10 after the polls close on Dec. 4

The Best Party award is part of a selection of awards. The main event is called The Fifth Annual Night Life Awards and bestows awards in such categories as Best Club, Best DJ, Best Bar/Lounge and Best Nightlife Blog.

“Even if we don’t win, it was still amazing to be recognized,” Berry said. “It just goes to show that people love

going out and having a good time. When great people come together, great

things happen.”

For future dates and times visit their MySpace page at MySpace.com/Rehab or searh for Rehab Debonair on Facebook.