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King Biscuit Festival
New Orleans
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CLUBS:  Of the clubs in the northern district, there are two worth of our time.  They are b.l.u.e.s. and Kingston Mines.  They are located across the street from each other and are in the vicinity of a good cajun restaurant.  Kingston Mines has two stages and a late night license, 4 am mon-fri and 5 am on sat.  b.l.u.e.s. is open till 3 on sat.  They are popular and crowded.  After midnight, it thins out a bit.  Cover charges are reasonable, $5.00 to $8.00 for b.l.u.e.s. and $10.00 to $12.00 for Kingston Mines.

For more on b.l.u.e.s., go to the site below.

For more on Kingston Mines, go to these sites.


In the central district there is lots of activity.  There is Famous Dave’s and Blue Chicago, across the street from each other.  Down the street is Blue Chicago on Clark, one cover charge for Blue Chicago gets you into both clubs.  Close by is House of Blues.  A little further South is Buddy Guy’s legends and Koko Taylor’s.  Though chicagofats says that Koko’s may not make it till September.  These can be done in one or two evenings, your choice.  I recommend that we stay in this area.  Though hotels in chicago are very expensive.  I will write on that subject in a moment.


Further south there is one club that is in a rough district.  Chicagofats says that only the hardcore roomies would be comfortable at this one, though it carries some history.  It is the Checkerboard Lounge.  And, it is quite a distance.

Below, is a map.


TRANSPORTATION:  Getting to the clubs in the North would be by train and/or bus.  I have not figured out the public transportation system yet.  Many lines run 24 hours.  I haven’t figured out which.  Both are wheelchair ready.  One, two and three day passes can be purchased for the CTA.  However, wheelchair riders pay full price, $1.50 per ride plus $.30 per transfer on the buses.  Trains do not require special lifts.

I looked into hiring a bus or trolly for an evening.  No way!

The trains run from both airports to a central “loop” where buses dispatch to more specific areas.  I don’t think that car rentals are necessary.  In fact, due to parking problems, a rental car might be in the way.

If Chicago is the chosen location. I will need several volunteers.  On the subject of transportation, someone needs to know which buses to use to get from the hotel to each location.  This is Chicago Volunteer #1.


BLUES CRUISE:  Cleetus from Famous Dave’s is looking into a blues cruise on Lake Michigan for us.  We can extend our stay and have the cruise on Wednesday so we have two nights in the central district - or - we can have the cruise on Thursday and do all the central clubs in one night.  Sunday evening is also a good night for the cruise.  This will be the choice of those attending.  On the cruise, we can do our jamming and initial party, though it would probably be open to the “public” to defray costs.  I still have no information on per person costs or handicap accessibility, at this time.  This could be a high dollar deal, but well worth it.  Cleetus, where are you?


DAYTIME EXCURSIONS:  One half block from Famous Dave’s is the newest, bestest mall in Chicago.  On Lake Michigan, there is an aquarium, a midway, an observatory and a several other tourist attractions.


HOTELS:  This is the tough one.  Hotels in Chicago are very expensive.  I haven’t called the Days Inn yet, but all the other hotels start at $250.00 to $500.00 for a regular room.  Among others, I have made contact with the Homeward Suites.  This is an all suite hotel.  Some suites have connecting doors.  So if two roomies were willing, we could have a good party room by putting two living rooms together.  All suites come with a king bed in it’s own bedroom and a queen sofabed in the living-room.  Kitchens come with microwave, dishwasher, plates, pots - fully equipped.  They serve a free breakfast until 11:00 am and a free dinner with free beer and wine from 5:00 till 7:00.

The lobby is on the 6th floor, the pool and gym are on the 19th floor. 

This hotel is a half block from Famous Dave’s, across the street from the new mall and close to the Lake Michigan attractions.  Cost per night is $259.00.  This is a much better deal than the other hotels, because the room is a suite, and it is so close to the central district.  I am trying to get the price down more, but my success is in question.  My contact says that he will know more six months before our event.

Other hotels are at least this price and offer less.  When I called the Marriott, and told them our reason for being in Chicago, they were suddenly booked for the month of September.  There are smaller hotels with better prices but they can not provide the minimum dozen rooms necessary.  If we have a larger turn out this year, we will need more than a dozen rooms.

Chicago Volunteer #2 is needed here if Chicago is the chosen location.  Are there other hotels in the Central District where we can get 15 rooms at a reasonable price?  And where will we party and jam?


THE END:  Chicago will be an easy place to visit and loads of fun.  I have been guided by several people whom I have met doing my research.  All are looking forward to meeting us and partying with us.  If Chicago is the chosen city, there is still more work to be done for those who plan to attend.  Do we want to try for the cruise?  Do we want more than three nights to do the sights?  We will need to get together for a discussion.  And, I am very happy to host any discussions. 


PS – I have heard bad things about the big airport, O’Hare.  You may want to fly into Midway, if possible.



  Friday, January 12, 2001 06:13:56 AM