Angelo’s Piano Lounge 1686 N. Van Buren St.

angelos2.jpg by Vince Bushell, photos by JennyMarie Farris Maybe Old Blue Eyes didn’t have Angelo’s Lounge on his tour schedule, but the place pays homage to Frank and his friends nonetheless. The decor befits a cozy piano bar, not a high-end nightclub, and it’s comfortable. The drink prices aren’t high-end either, and that’s good because $12 martini bars seem to be sprouting up all over the place. Angelo’s martinis start at $5 before the music begins and jump to $6 after. Top shelf liquors may fetch a buck or two more. Instead of a swank lounge, Angelo’s is more like a neighborhood bar with an angle. As a friend said, “Like Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live doing the lounge singer.” It’s entertainment, something that, as Angelo notes, is not provided by those high-end bars. Angelo says, “We never have a set program, but we’ve been lucky to keep the caliber of the music high.” For 15 years, Angelo’s has had the welcome sign up for guest performers. Longtime accompanist Norma Angeli knows all the songs, and the unscheduled performances can be delightful. There is, however, a definite slant toward songs originally performed by Frank and his buddies. Angelo explains, “it’s not a screaming karaoke place.” Others who enjoy the bar refer to it as a “very comfortable place” and a “Brady Street landmark” with a good mix of people between 25 and 75. It’s Angelo’s. It’s Italian. It’s been here a long time. Angelo plans to keep it going for a lot longer. Same as it ever was.