Edgeville Buzz

Parlour Bar Closing Their Doors After Four Years

Parlour holds many fond memories for myself and others in the LGBT community. From nights dancing until my feet blistered to once witnessing a Halloween pumpkin perform kinky acts on a drag-queen, it’s safe to say Parlour hosted some of the city’s most entertaining parties.

However long-term success was not in the cards for this bar. Owners Nikki Calhoun and Jennifer Murphy told EVB, “The initial opening of the bar was a smashing success.  Everyone that walked through the doors loved it.  Everyone felt that it enhanced the neighborhood.  We hoped it was going to be around for awhile.  What we learned was that people were less focused on supporting a local business and more interested in finding the newest bar, event, club, restaurant or party. The duo continued, “As business declined it became clear that we needed to look into selling our beautiful bar and handing it over to someone that would reinvent and re-energize the space.  That’s when the biggest blow hit us like a ton of bricks.  We were informed that our alderman had put a moratorium on our location and a few others in the area that virtually rendered our business worthless.  We went from signing a real estate listing contract with an appraised value of $125,000 to finding out we were not able to transfer our liquor license due to the moratorium and therefore not able to sell.”

Today they have made an official announcement on their Facebook page validating rumors that the establishment will be officially closing its doors after four years of serving the community. Since 2010, Parlour has made themselves known as a LGBTQ bar on the north side of the city that welcomes everyone.  This upcoming Sunday, August 10, will be their last hoorah as the owners move on to their next venture.


The bar is well known in the Rogers Park, Edgewater and Andersonville communities as a local watering hole that celebrates everyone who is somewhere along the rainbow spectrum. While Parlour didn’t identify as a lesbian specific bar, the ladies did love to frequent the establishment and many girl-parties began there.  The owners went out of their way to host events for other groups as well,  such as the transgender and bear communities. It also was a very special place for queer performers of all sorts and sizes.

Parlour bar supported the work of local artists, musicians, dj’s and performers. It had hosted many events that brought in LGBTQ folks and fundraisers from all parts of the city.  The stage was just small enough to make any performance feel intimate, yet big enough to have three dancers twerkin’ it out with enough room to spare. With a separate dj booth in the back, the bar was the perfect space for artists to share their talents and establish themselves with a larger queer audience.

Ms. Murphy also told EVB, “Nikki and I took a run down tavern in an area of the city that we loved and turned it into a space that would provide a home for artists, musicians, comedians, drag queens, and many amazing dance parties.  We really wanted a space for good energy and good people.” She added, “We are proud of our efforts and mostly proud of the money we were able to raise for some great organizations through the many benefits that were held at the bar.  We are also very thankful for the wonderful people we were able to meet that have passed through our great bar.”

Many will miss Parlour, but know that your parties and stories will live on in memory!

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