Chicago, IL

Head through the hidden door in the fake laundromat and step into a magic lounge and bar

Jennifer Geer

The Chicago Magic Lounge is Chicago's speakeasy magic theater with a unique entrance.
Photo bycourtesy of Chicago Magic Lounge, photo by Hall + Merrick

(CHICAGO) Enter the fake laundromat and go through the hidden door behind the phony washing machines.

You will find yourself stepping inside an art-deco-style theater where you can sip signature cocktails and watch magical performances.

TikTok famous

The unique entrance, 1930s bar scene, and fun magic acts have helped the Chicago Magic Lounge to become a favorite on TikTok, with one post getting over 230K views.

According to Chicago's WGNTV, once the owner of the Magic Lounge noticed TikTok posts featuring the Magic Lounge were going viral and bringing in more guests, they changed their policy to allow customers to take videos.

Chicago-style magic has a rich history

Created by owner and CEO Joseph Cranford in 2017, the website tells the story of how Cranford was inspired by Chicago-style magic theaters made popular in the early 1900s.

This style of magic was enormously popular at the turn of the century. Chicago Reader states,

"The period from 1890 to 1929 was the so-called golden age of magic in America, when Houdini, Thurston, Chicago native Harry Blackstone Sr., and others drew crowds to vaudeville houses and major theaters, and mounted enormous tent shows on tours across the country and around the world."

The Chicago Magic Lounge looks to recreate that excitement surrounding magic while offering intimate and close-up performances alongside drinks and food.
Photo bycourtesy of Chicago Magic Lounge, photo by James Murphy Trainman Photography

What to expect

The Chicago Magic Lounge offers a 107-seat theater with a 16-seat mezzanine, a 43-seat close-up gallery, and an intimate art deco bar where magicians perform from behind the bar.
Photo bycourtesy of Chicago Magic Lounge, photo by James Murphy Trainman Photography

Guests can enjoy cocktail specialties, like the Smoke and Mirrors (made with mezcal, amaro, and fernet) or the Dark Arts (rye whiskey, cherry morlacco liqueur, and dark rum) and munch on appetizers such as roasted olives or french fries dipped in truffle aioli.
Photo bycourtesy of Chicago Magic Lounge, photo by Daniel Boczarski

While you're there, don't miss a peek at the round table library, which features a collection of magic literature and memorabilia.

This collection was obtained from American author and magician, Walter Gibson, who wrote over 100 magic books.

The details

The Chicago Magic Lounge is located at 5050 N. Clark Street. You can buy tickets online here.

The theater and 654 Club require tickets. However, if you'd like to stop in and check out some close-up magic tricks while enjoying a cocktail, according to the FAQ on the website, the Performance Bar is open to the public and does not require tickets.
Photo bycourtesy of Chicago Magic Lounge, photo by Anthony Tahlier Photography

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL

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