Smart Bar

3730 North Clark

North Side institution opened by Joe Shannahan as the sister dance club of Metro. Has hosted residencies by many of Chicago’s most well-known house producers and DJs, including Frankie Knuckles, Joe Smooth, Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini, Justin Long, and Rahaan.



Jesse De La Peña gets his Smart Bar residency

While Jesse De La Peña was working at Importes Etc., Paul Weisberg introduced him to Smart Bar/Metro owner Joe Shanahan, who asked him for a mix tape. He put together a mix with Front 242, Art of Noise, and Severed Heads as well as some housier stuff. Shanahan chose then nineteen-year-old De La Peña to replace popular DJ Mark Stephens, who was suffering from complications related to AIDS, on Saturdays. Stephens' crowd was not receptive to De La Peña initially, and De La Peña wasn't used to spinning long-form sets. Luckily Jeff Pazen, another Smart Bar resident, allowed De La Peña to come into the club on Wednesdays and Sundays to watch him spin, even though he was technically underage.



Sneaking into Smart Bar with a fake ID

DJ Lady D used to sneak into Smart Bar when she was nineteen to hear the club's mix of house and industrial.

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