Lakeview’s Thriving Arts Scene: Galleries, Theater, and Music

Person looking at artworkNestled just north of Chicago’s downtown lies the Lakeview neighborhood, a bustling center of culture, business, and diversity. Though it might be most known for its adjacency to Lake Michigan and Wrigley Field, this northside staple is chock-full of notable concert halls, galleries, and art spaces. From indie rock performances to world-renowned theater productions, Lakeview offers plenty regarding arts, culture, and creative expression. 

Music Venues 

Wherever you are in Lakeview, there’s a music hall, concert space, or dive bar that’ll satisfy all your live music wishes. The neighborhood is a treasure trove of live performances, from indie rock, jazz, and pop to everything in between. 

The Metro

The Metro is one of the most famous and established music venues in the neighborhood. This beloved venue has hosted world-class shows on the buzzing and iconic Clark Street since 1982. Its multi-leveled interior makes it an incredible spot to watch huge acts and rock bands, while its intimate setting supports more minor acts and talent. With its stellar acoustics and breathtaking decor, it’s no wonder the Metro is still the premier spot for Lakeview residents. 

Schubas Tavern

Schubas Tavern is the place to go for those wanting to see some excellent local talent. Located in one of Lakeview’s historic Victorian two-flat, Schubas features live acts from small indie rock acts to massive, international talent. If you get hungry, the venue’s connected restaurant, Tied House, has quality eats and drinks for your tasting pleasure. With its cozy ambiance and high-quality sound system, Schubas is the perfect venue for a casual, music-listening experience. 

The Hideout

A little outside Lakeview’s parameters is The Hideout, a local hidden gem near and dear to Chicago’s heart. Inconspicuously situated in an industry district, this venue has transitioned from a speakeasy in 1934 to a beloved dive bar and music hall. Over the years, The Hideout has maintained a dedicated following due to its connection to the neighborhood music scene. From old-time bands to folk projects to jazz and R&B, this Chicago favorite is an undisputed destination for all live music enjoyers. 

Art Galleries 

Lakeview is not only an excellent area to see top-tier bands but also a neighborhood that deeply embraces visual arts and culture. Art enthusiasts will find themselves spellbound by the community’s diverse array of galleries, each offering a distinct perspective on contemporary artwork. From avant-garde installations to traditional paintings, these galleries represent something every cultural enthusiast can enjoy. 

Vertical Gallery

A standout destination in Lakeview is the Vertical Gallery, a dynamic space dedicated to urban and contemporary art. With rotating exhibitions featuring local and international artists, Vertical Gallery pushes the boundaries of artistic expression. Some of the gallery’s acclaimed exhibits focus on street art, graffiti, pop culture, and graphic design, modernizing visual art while captivating critics and residents alike. 

Jackson Junge Gallery

Jackson Junge Gallery provides a mind-altering optical experience for those interested in photography. Showcasing the work of talented photographers from around the world, this gallery invites visitors to explore the power of imagery through storytelling and self-expression. Jackson Junge is also highly committed to displaying the intersection of photography and technology, hosting exhibitions that explore digital art, virtual reality, and interactive installations.

Outside brick-and-mortar galleries, Lakeview is primarily known for its involvement in street art, outsider art fairs, and cultural events. Wandering through the neighborhood’s streets, you’ll find a kaleidoscope of murals on building facades and alleyways. During the summer, you’ll quickly stumble upon an outsider art fair or two displaying the widespread, unique talent around the Midwest. 


Visit Lakeview would not be complete without immersing oneself in the neighborhood’s theatrical talent. From Broadway productions to unique, avant-garde stage plays, Lakeview’s theaters offer a captivating look into modern and traditional performance.

Athenaeum Theatre

The community’s most prized theater is the Anthaneum Theatre, a historic landmark that has entertained audiences for over 100 years. The Atheneum Theatre remains the Chicago center for cultural enrichment and artistry with its ornate, remarkable architecture and diverse programming. 

The Annoyance Theatre

For those craving a more intimate theater experience or wanting to see some local comedy, the Annoyance Theatre provides the perfect setting. Known for its stand-up and sketch comedy shows, the Annoyance Theatre also pushes the boundaries of experimental production with acting and stage plays. This local gem invites audiences to laugh and cry while excellently showcasing high-quality talent, writing, and theatrics.  

Though there are many fantastic Chicago communities where people can engage in cultural expression, Lakeview may be the best collection of diverse theater, music, and visual art. With its lively nightlife and endless local talent, spending a night in this northside neighborhood will leave you creatively satisfied for weeks to come.