We write a lot about punk and goth fashion. But what about when you’re out and about living the punk and goth lifestyle? We’re here to focus on a region and what it’s really like living and breathing punk or goth in the city you live in. How about Chicago? What are the Chicago goth stores, punk bars, and goth clubs that Chicagoans enjoy when they go out on the town?
Here we take a look.
Chicago Goth and Punk Stores
With currently a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Yelp, the reviews are in. A lot of punk and goth clothing wearers in the Chicago area love The Alley.
“Impressive selection of jewelry, leather jackets and unique dresses perfect for anyone who loves horror, punk, cult cinema.”
Located in numerous locations in the Chicago area, this local store chain gives goth and punk clothes wearers a lot of options. Find them in Chicago Ridge Mall, Woodfield Mall, The Promenade in Bolingbrook, Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, and many other places. They have a wide selection of band shirts, goth dresses, goth and punk jewelry and boots, and all kinds of other things that might just complete a great outfit. And the reviews are solid, as the below review from Google attests to.
“They always have great customer service and are very knowledgeable about their products. The store has great vibes and the employees are always full of energy. They have high quality products at awesome prices. I love shopping here for my body jewelry.”
There are many different types of goth and punk styles. Just in goth you have styles and terms like nu goth, corporate goth, emo which is a bit different but has commonalities, and so on and so forth. Akira is a high end store and brand that appeals to certain type of styles that many just love. They also have an entire section for plus size looks that many plus size goth types will find appealing. And they have numerous locations to provide your Chicago goth store fix. When it comes to different types of Chicago goth stores, this could be the right one for you.
“Nice and outlandish styles. Puts you in the mind of a Hollywood dress room for models or actors. Very chic!!!”
If you want venture out a little outside of Chicago, this goth and punk store located in Lake in the Hills has a lot of great fashion. Wornstar is a small independent shop with a big heart. They have everything from piercings to clothing and jewelry. The store itself is small, but it’s packed with everything from accessories to clothing. The staff are very helpful if you have questions about sizing or anything else. They also have a large selection of shoes and boots that are mostly custom made.
“Worth every penny!!! I get compliments and attention wherever I wear my Wornstar clothes. I own 4 different Wornstar pants and plan to get many more. Very comfortable and understand that you are paying for custom clothes, not cheap $20 jeans everybody has. These clothes turn heads! If I can’t be a rockstar…then I’ll wear Wornstar…and dress like a star!! I’ve been wanting clothes like this since the 80s!!”
Goth/Punk Clubs and Bars in Chicago Area
Located at 3534 W Belmont in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, Latebar has a variety of bands from all over the place and you can always expect good music and good times (generally one that is considered a solid punk or goth based on the music and aesthetic). They boast a wide variety of cocktails and drinks for you to choose from, with an amazing vintage bar that you can chill at. It’s a solid choice when looking for Chicago punk bars or goth clubs.
According to a Yelp review: “Fantastic music ranging from obscure 80’s new wave one-hit wonders to goth staples like the Sisters of Mercy.”
The Underground Lounge
The Underground Lounge is located at the intersection of Clark, Sheffield and Newport, very close to Wrigley Field in the a historic building called Links Hall. The reviews are mixed, partially because it is the Wrigleyville neighborhood where everyone isn’t always looking for the alternative vibe.
Here is one Yelp review: “If you looking for a place to go that is a little different from the usual bar and want a refreshnig punk./rock/alternative music experience and enjoy good beer, be sure to stop by.”
Delilah’s has slowly become a Chicago institution when it comes to punk bars and clubs. According to them they opened in 1993 and have been open every day since. They feature DJs spinning Rock & Roll, Punk Rock, Metal, Ska and more, with a regular line up of events. they boast that they carry more than 1000 beer and spirit options.
Here is one TripAdvisor review: “Fabulous bar reeking of punk and rockabilly and a drinks list designed by people who know their booze… A real Chicago institution and all the better for it. Highly recommended.”
The Empty Bottle
Since the early 1990s this Ukrainian Village staple has become a solid Chicago punk bar or goth club for those who want that vibe. It’s a Chicago landmark at this point, with a book highlighting its history. They are often brimming with those who are seeking that goth punk aesthetic or just want to feel comfortable out and about with their particular group of friends.
If a Chicago goth bar or punk club is what you’re looking for along with an LGBTQ friendly atmosphere, Berlin could be perfect for you. It has been creating shared experiences through music, laughter, dancing, and art since 1983. As they say on their website, they are “pleased to be part of Chicago’s rich cultural history.”
Here is a Yelp review: “Small cute nightclub with a grunge decor. It was packed when we entered around 11pm and was still packed when we left at 2am… The best part was the two mini stages that we were allowed to climb up on to or walk up the stairs behind it, which can dance on. For those not shy.”
Chicago Punk and Goth Online Choices
If you’re not necessarily looking for a Chicago goth store or punk store and you just want something to come in the mail, online stores like Tragic Beautiful could be the right option. Tragic Beautiful is an Australian-based online store that has been around since 2006. They carry Killstar, Punk Rave, and many other major goth brands. As they say on their website, they provide “a niche for the outsiders – those that go against the grain, wander off the path and live outside of the box.”
Punk Rave was founded in 2006 as a punk and goth brand and online shop. Their main collection is inspired by punk, gothic lolita, and “visual kei” clothing that includes shirts, jackets, pants, and kinds of accessories. The brand includes both Punkrave and Pyon Pyon.
Their motto: In Goth We Trust. Established in 2010 in the UK, Killstar is a fashion and lifestyle brand with a lot of goth clothing mixed with some fun plush and all kinds of weirdness. They boast that their products have “a twist of darkness, channeling emotional power and raw energy into every thread.”
Photo by cottonbro
Last Updated on August 31, 2022.