Grab your Chicago Handshake Passport at any of the city’s 15 independent bars

End the summer with the most Chicago event of the year: fifteen independent bars serving up that famous love-it-hate-it combo, the Chicago Handshake. Pick up a free Chicago Handshake Passport at participating bars and get a stamp unique to each when you order a handshake. How many neighborhoods can you or your team visit before the grand finale to benefit local hospitality nonprofit Another Round Another Rally? Receive a limited edition handshake when you complete the challenge among other goodies.

Image credit: Ryan Duffy

How the Chicago Handshake Passport Works

Do not underestimate this challenge. The sense of urgency starts right from the start! To enter the Chicago Handshake Passport Challenge this year, you must visit one of the 15 participating bars and apply for a passport with your first order of a Chicago Handshake drink combo (an old-fashioned beer and a shot of Malört). However, each bar only has a limited number of passports, so be sure to grab yours early!

Once you have your passport, visit the remaining bars and order a Chicago Handshake at each location to get each location’s unique stamp. Collect all 15 stamps by September 22 to complete the challenge and redeem a limited-edition Challenge Coin!

What are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at the participating bars!

2313 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Enjoy music and nightly events at Café Mustache. Considered Chicago’s best non-traditional music venue, this Logan Square gem is loved by many locals. It’s a cafe by day and a bar by night. In addition, there are always karaoke nights on Saturdays and Sundays.

1424 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642

DJs, pool tables and tattoo art. The Five Star Bar is a local favorite where all the regulars hang out after a long day at work. Order a few small bites, a nice shot of bourbon, and people watch while you relax. Then, when you’re ready, take on the Chicago Handshake Challenge!

2801 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Great deals, affordable drinks, late hours. The Continental Lounge is a perfect place for a mid-week getaway when you just want some time to yourself but would rather go out than stay home. PS: The floor is RAD.

2224 N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL 60647

Enjoy daily drink specials and craft beers at this neighborhood bar. You’ll understand why so many people become regulars here once you talk to the staff and realize how friendly they are. It’s literally like walking into a meeting or going back to your hometown after college. Remember, though: they’re cash only!

2849 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Loud and proud, DMen Tap is a food truck that decided to open a bar. That tells you they have some awesome bites and drinks! And did we mention this place is inspired by Dungeons & Dragons? We wonder if their stamp will also be inspired by D&D.

2363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Watch out, everyone! Now you have another reason to come and play video games at the Emporium: get the stamp for your Chicago Handshake Passport! Also, we think you should choose a night with live music to come for your handshake. Because why not?

921 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Drinks, hugs and high fives – honestly, that sounds like the right vibe. This rustic hidden gem is right there on Western. If you hop on the #49 bus, you’ll be there in no time. Besides the handshake, you’ll find plenty of branded drinks on their extensive menu, ranging from craft beers to specialty cocktails.

2403 W Homer St, Chicago, IL 60647

The Green Eye Lounge is a neighborhood restaurant located on the old-fashioned side of Western Avenue, a short walk from the Blue Line. Let your bartender guide you through a comfortable environment, personally ensuring an ear of great music and a glass of great drink. All are welcome to join our team of Green Eye regulars.

Image Credit: Daniel Evan Bell

1850 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Watering hole with craft beers and billiards in a vintage tavern with a sculpted bar and local artwork: Lemmings is the place for you. This is probably one of the best dive bars in the area. Plus, they have a fantastic wine selection, which means the merlot spun in your handshake will probably be really tasty.

2410 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Logan Arcade is a relaxing spot with arcade games and vintage pinball machines, plus a full bar with plenty of beer on tap. This craft beer-focused tavern/arcade has Chicago’s most curated collection of games!

1516 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Nick’s Beer Garden is a Wicker Park tavern with a long and colorful history dating back to 1977 in Lincoln Park. Live music, DJs, sports and merry-making are all part of the format with a thoughtful selection of all things liquid in this quaint joint.

3439 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

As the oldest bar in Wrigleyville, Nisei Lounge has been serving craft beers, showing baseball on flat screens, and cheering around the darts and pool table since 1951. We’re very curious what their Chicago Handshake pad looks like. Passport!

2417 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Good bartenders, awesome music, and the dark, retro interior might have us staring forever. Enjoy draft beers and house cocktails, then get ready for the Chicago Handshake! You also get free popcorn here. Yes. Free. Popcorns!

222 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60604

Someone point out Taylor Swift’s “22”, please? 2Twenty2 Tavern offers bourbon, craft beer and pub snacks. Its cold, traditional digs are what keep people coming back, and the fun only gets better with shuffleboard and video games throughout the facility. It’s a perfect stop after a quick visit to the Art Institute.

2026 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

A Bucktown staple since 1947, we’re a neighborhood tavern proud of our community, our local customers, and the new faces we’ve yet to meet. Their ever-changing vintage cocktail menu pays homage to Chicago’s OGs, but with a modern twist.

two people raising a glass of chicago handshake passport
Image Credit: Daniel Evan Bell

Another Round Another Rally is a non-profit financial and educational resource for the hospitality industry, providing scholarships, developing future leaders and providing emergency relief.

From helping hospitality workers develop their skills and dealing with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to helping bar and restaurant workers deal with sudden illnesses , natural disasters or other emergencies, Another Round Another Rally strives to meet urgent needs within the community – regardless of the current state of the restaurant industry.

Featured Image: Ryan Duffy

Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement