Staying in the Loop

By Joel Alonzo

You’ve finally started to settle into your new dorm room or apartment downtown. The girl across the hall is totally sweet, but she did just meet you. The guy a couple floors down is really cute, but you do still have that boyfriend back home.

So what do you do now? You could walk down the halls and barge in on any open room you find. You could head over to the cafeteria and eat nine bags of Doritos. You could see how long it takes to fall asleep while watching basic cable, or you could get out to one of these places and see what’s going on.

Here are our picks for where to go in the South Loop for a good time:

Buddy Guy’s Legends

754 S. Wabash Ave.

(312) 427-1190

BuddyGuys.com

Expensive cover charges and lack of specials aside, this is a great Chicago landmark to visit at least once. During the evening and on into the night, Buddy Guy’s Legends is usually packed with blues fans, wailing guitars and pool tables – making it the perfect place to meet new people and have a good time.

Mercat a la Planxa

638 S. Michigan Ave.

(312) 765-0524

MercatChicago.com

Located inside the famous Blackstone Hotel, Mercat a la Planxa is the perfect place to take the person you’ve had your eye on for a while. Seating does have a tendency to get filled up quickly, so make sure to call in advance to make reservations. But, once you’re in, sit back, relax and enjoy the almost endless supply of Spanish cuisine.

7-Eleven

600 S. Dearborn St.

(312) 987-1041

7-Eleven.com

For those who get home late and still aren’t finished yet, the latest you can get alcohol is 2 a.m. and it’s from this 7-Eleven.

Grant Park

Located between Randolph and Roosevelt Streets, along the lake

(312) 742-7648

ChicagoParkDistrict.com

The place to go for a game of Frisbee or a nice jog around the lake, Grant Park is the premier spot for all things outdoors in Chicago. Be sure to get there early because the park closes at 9 p.m.

The Art Institute of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave.

(312) 443-3600

ArtIC.edu

Go for the paintings and stay for the sculpture. The Art Institute of Chicago is located just outside the South Loop and offers glimpses of art from 4000 B.C. all the way to the present.

Graham Cracker Comics

77 E. Madison St.

(312) 629-1810

GrahamCrackers.com

The only comic book store within the confines of the Loop, Graham Cracker Comics has everything any fan could want. In the dark, Batcave-like interior, which houses all of the newest releases from the big companies and a knowledgeable staff, Graham Cracker is the place to go for your typical and obscure comic needs.

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