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FEATURE -- Mardi Gras 2012 in Chicago
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Can’t make it to New Orleans?

Celebrate Mardi Gras 2012 in Chicagoland

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Mojo & the Bayou Gypsies
Mr. Mojo of the Bayou Gypsies
Feb. 21 at French Quarter New Orleans Kitchen, Lombard


            Mardi Gras, literally “Fat Tuesday,” falls on February 21 this year and is the last day of feasting, drinking and dancing before Lent kicks in on Ash Wednesday, when we are supposed to give up our physically lustful ways and be good until Easter.   Now, we all know that blues fans aren’t known for their self-control or their denial of earthly desires, so we here at Chicago Blues Guide want help our loyal readers with some recommendations on where to celebrate Fat Tuesday in Chicagoland, if they cannot make it to the official festivities in the Big Easy.  


Mardi Gras has become much more than a New Orleans tradition, however, and is celebrated anywhere that people carry the spirit of the Crescent City in their hearts. So grab some hurricanes, eat something smothered in hot sauce, turn up the blues, zydeco, R&B or whatever you like, and join the party. And don’t forget to bring home some beads.


 Events are listed in alphabetical order by venue.

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Brookfield Mardi Gras Fest/Pub Crawl

Sponsored by the Brookfield Bar Owners Association.

Feb. 18th, 7 pm to 12 mid.

No cover!


Free trolleys will transport fest goers between 12 different Brookfield Bars and restaurants. All bars will have live bands, Mardi Gras drinks and beads. Some venues offer Cajun and Creole cuisine. Salt Creek Wine Bar will feature blues band Dawn O’Keefe Williams &The Lucky Dogs.



Duffy’s Tavern & Grill

420 ½ W. Diversey, Chicago, IL – Tel: 773-549-9090


Feb. 21: Mardi Gras party with Hurricane Gumbo


This Lincoln Park sports bar will throw its 11th annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball. The party package for $20 includes a New Orleans style buffet. The price also includes hurricanes and all draft beers.  Hurricane Gumbo, an eight-piece band that combines zydeco, R&B, jazz and funk to produce a sound that can only be called Louisiana party music, will perform. Get ready to catch some beads! The party goes from 8 – 11 p.m.




6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, IL -- Tel: 708-788-2118


Feb. 20: Jambalaya Cookoff with Roddie Romero & The Hub City AllStars

Feb. 21: Mardi Gras Party, Roy Rubenstein’s Chicago Red Hot 6 and Dag Juhlin’s Expo 76.


FitzGerald’s hosts its 17th annual Jambalaya Cookoff on Fat Monday. Patrons can taste the competing cooks’ entries, which will be judged by a celebrity panel.  Grammy nominated Louisiana band  Roddie Romero & The Hub City AllStars will perform following the cookoff.  The party starts at 7:30 pm. $15 cover.


Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21, will feature two bands, starting at 6:30 p.m., along with beads, coins, New Orleans food and drink specials. No cover.



French Quarter New Orleans Kitchen

44 Yorktown Convenience Center, Lombard, IL – Tel: 630-495-2700


Feb. 21: Mojo & The Bayou Gypsies


Mardi Gras packages and reservations are required for this Fat Tuesday feast. Prices range from $29 - $99 and include various amounts of New Orleans style cuisine, drinks, CDs and of course beads for all.

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Heaven on Seven

600 N. Michigan at Rush St. (2nd Floor), Chicago, IL – Tel: 312-280-7774

224 S. Main Street, Naperville, IL – Tel: 630-717-0777


Feb. 18: Brother John at Rush Street location

               Professor John at Naperville location


This well-known Cajun eatery is owned by Chef Jimmy Bannos, where every day is Mardi Gras. Heaven on Seven has locations in Chicago and Naperville, while the original lunch diner is still in Chicago’s historic Garland building, 111 N. Wabash on the 7th floor.



Moe Joe’s

510 Lockport St., Plainfield, IL --Tel: 815-230-2790

Billy BranchFeb. 21: Mardi
Gras party with Billy Branch & Sons of the Blues at Moe Joe's


Every day is Mardi Gras at this suburban French Quarter-themed restaurant and nightclub. Daily menu items include po’ boys, jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etouffee, alligator fricassee, Caribbean cuisine and more. Two bars will serve hurricanes, planters punch, Abita and Dixie beers and more. Body painting, elaborate costumes, giveaways and beads, beads, beads!



Shaw’s Crab House

21 E. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL – Tel: 312-527-2722

1900 E. Higgins Rd., Schaumburg, IL – Tel: 847-517-2722


Feb 19: Matt Steadman (Blues) at Chicago venue, 7 – 10 pm

Feb. 21: Fabulous Fish Heads Blues Band at Chicago venue, 7-10 pm

               The Cash Box Kings at Schaumburg venue, 6 pm – 9 pm


Shaw’s,  located in downtown Chicago and in the NW suburbs, will let the good times roll with live blues, specialty New Orleans items like crawfish po’ boys, Cajun and Creole dishes, blackened redfish, jambalaya, gumbo and much more. Hurricanes and half-priced oysters will also be offered.



Momo Mama Blue Chicago
Blue Chicago
536 N. Clark
Chicago, IL
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Dave Specter & Sharon Lewis
March 14, 2012
SPACE, Evanston, IL

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DJ Hambone's


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