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Vain Nightclub in Chicago: The Perfect Mix of Lounge & Dance Club


I heard about the addition of a sleek downtown Chicago nightclub, in a not so downtown location, and I knew I had to take a look for myself. Set in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, an area overrun with bars that cater to college students, Vain has perfected the nightclub and lounge atmosphere.

More impressive than the surroundings though, was the intimate service I received from the staff. In a city like Chicago, with new nightclubs popping up over night and old favorites disappearing by morning, this was definitely out of character. Vain has plenty to be excessively proud of, and as long as the club continues to provide the same quality of service along with a great dance scene I will recommend it to anyone looking for a new spot.

The main reason Vain is able to achieve a true lounge feel and still give its patrons a dance club, is because of the three story space Vain occupies. The first floor lounge is framed by a busy bar and comfortable seating with tables that line opposite walls. As soon as the tables are claimed and the seats filled with guests that are dressed to impress, the room becomes standing space only. The minimalist décor found in the lounge continues upstairs onto the dance floor, and into the VIP area making up the third floor.

Away from the flirting going on in the lounge, is the perpetually packed second story dance floor. A two story waterfall serves as a backdrop for Vain’s dance floor early in the night, but as soon as the club’s go-go dancers take their position in front of the waterfall, it becomes a stage. Above the bar and overlooking all the action on the dance floor is an open balcony, reserved as VIP space for private parties or those who order bottle service. The DJ keeps the crowd moving to everything from House to techno to the top forty.

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Because of the narrow building dimensions, the second floor does become a sardine can during the high points of the night. For this reason I do suggest opting for Vain’s bottle service, and the accompanying breathing space on the third floor. The attentive staff and your ability to dance in comfort or spot the eye candy below is well worth the money.

Drink prices at Vain are right on target with other Chicago nightclubs, and on almost every night there are some drink specials. In order to compare the two, I sat with a party in the VIP area for bottle service and later visited the bar. In both situations I received excellent service. The bartenders were quick and sociable downstairs and the hostesses upstairs were always on hand to help.

Overall, Vain is the complete package, and I can see it becoming a Chicago favorite. The crowd is a healthy mix of college students, twenty somethings and young professionals, but it has the potential to be monopolized by one group.

Go to Vain for the great service and a fun night. You can sit back and catch up with friends, dance the night away, or watch the action- your pick.

Vain is located at 2354 North Clybourn Avenue in Chicago.