Chicago's Fetish Headquarters

Average Reviews


The Jackhammer complex is the new north LGBT destination in Chicago. Comprising three distinct bar spaces (Dance, Sports & Leather) and an outdoor patio, there is also an attached adult shop (Leather 6410) and a gay bed and breakfast located on the third floor of the building (The Ashland Arms).

The Jackhammer Complex draws a diverse cross-section of Chicagoans and visitors. Nightly events may include: drag shows, karaoke, live musical performances, gogo dancers. international fetish events, headline DJ's or the infamous monthly underwear party & contest.



Based on 210 reviews
Dominic Carmichael
01:34 28 May 24
Went there 5/27 and the guy at the door said I was too drunk to come in because I was trying to get my ID out of my wallet and I guess it took too long. Don’t know what his problem was. I wasn’t stumbling or anything like that. Pretty sure it was my skin color. Stay away Black People!!
Southern Elite
07:11 09 May 24
Please don’t come here if you’re black. I felt so uncomfortable where no one spoke to me, not even the front area bartenders. The back area bartender was amazing. However The patrons are very much not into socializing outside of whatever they are comfortable with so please don’t waste your time and money here
Dave F.
02:44 06 May 24
This bar has gone from legendary to as boring as the rest of Chicago's gay bars. Want to know how to turn a great bar into a shitty one? Ask the operators...
mark allison
20:31 23 Apr 24
Love it here! Great employees! Always Super clean in there! They handle the creepy people and the over bearing guys immediately after being informed! Mix awesome drinks! And good price!
Alberto Williams
04:07 01 Apr 24
I’ve come to REALLY enjoy their PLAYLAND dance parties on Friday nights! A very fun and inclusive way to bring in a move diverse crowd where everyone of ALL gender identities, body types, colors, etc can come and have fun! Nictotha is such a delight and the best! The Wednesday Lip Service is pretty fun too! Tim always makes them lively and fun!While it does have its occasional issue with a problematic character, the good HEAVILY outweighs the bad and it’s definitely worth the recommendation!
Andrew D.
12:22 29 Mar 24
Fun spot. I like the renovations and the staff are nice. Very inclusive. Their events are coming together as they experiment with what works post COVID.
Justin T.
10:17 24 Mar 24
Definitely watering down their alcohol. How can a straight shot of Jack taste like water. It was just brown liquid. Wtf did they serve me. Terrible bar and...
Adam Stocker
03:23 20 Mar 24
Unreal how clean & modern the space is!Every floor feels like it's own space, and acts like it, too! I love how community & kink forward they are!
Danial Ruiz
21:57 10 Mar 24
Went for TUFF and was told to buy online tickets in advance. There was a HUGE line to get into the bar for those presale tickets. Seems to kind of miss the point of buying presale tickets?The coat check line and the line to get into the hole were a HOT MESS. It took us about 30 minutes to even get moving to the middle of the line for the hole. I eventually left because I just couldn’t justify wasting more time for it.BUT…the whole place has a nice grunge feel that I liked and it’s great for the neighborhood. Love being able to get out of Boystown/Andersonville for once. It was my first time and wasn’t pleased with the TUFF event. I’ll have to come back on a night that doesn’t feature a large event like TUFF.
Jay M
08:36 10 Mar 24
A joke . This place is wildly mismanaged . Coat check takes eons. The dress code for the door seems wildly random and seemingly based on whatever the door guy is feeling at the moment. Don't waste your time here you'll be better off waiting in line at the supermarket on a Sunday night.
October Gunawan
17:45 01 Mar 24
Love lip service karaoke nights. The DJ and the host are great people and make for a great night. My partner usually gets beers for himself and I generally am sober so I pay and tip for virgin drinks and sodas for myself. I also got *free* regular tap water in a glass on top of this.Tonight (Feb 28, 2024) we came as usual for lip service and with my partner's first can of PBR he asked for a glass of tap water for me. The bartender refused him and said the bar "doesn't do that" and he can only get water bottles which were $3 per bottle. Funny thing is he later saw several other people get glasses of tap water with no issues whatsoever. This was after he bought 3 bottles of water. When he pointed this out he FINALLY got a single glass of tap water.It was already ridiculous that sodas and juices were charged nearly the same as mixed drinks/cocktails, but LITERAL TAP WATER??? I can't imagine that this was not a problem with us as individuals because it makes no sense to reject specifically us and not others around us.My partner bought about 3 or 4 cans of PBR, by the way, on top of the 3 bottles of water.Totally gross service at the front bar despite everything else being cool.Edit: Yikes on bikes at that owner response.Apparently buying soda and juice isn't enough to justify free tap water. The bartender didn't tell my boyfriend that even though I wasn't with him when he bought his *first* BEER.We only didn't buy juice and soda this time BECAUSE the bartender made it seem like we would have to pay for BOTH bottled water and juice/soda. Plus, when I told people how much juices and sodas cost (about $4-5) my friends who were there informed me that they usually pay $5-7 or so for their drinks.Maybe I misremembered/misunderstood and it was not mixed drinks they mentioned, but they definitely got defensive for me that non-alcoholic drinks shouldn't cost nearly the same as alcoholic ones.
Alberto Williams
21:21 13 Jan 24
Staff is very good and the pit is okay. Do wish, however, there was more TGNC-accepting patronage. Would recommend but unfortunately not if u aren’t a hypermasculine white (or a token of color) muscle bear
Lety G.
01:30 07 Jan 24
Walked in place was empty, got asked for a $5 cover for a place that is no longer a "thing". cashier guy at the door never said bags needs to be checked in,...
Alberto Williams
18:45 06 Jan 24
Staff is very good and the pit is okay. Do wish, however, there was more TGNC-accepting patronage. Would recommend but unfortunately not if u aren’t a hypermasculine white (or a token of color) muscle bear
Nathan Poe
13:51 04 Jan 24
Despite claiming to be inclusionary, we were denied entry to the lower level. We read the rules and visited your website and facebook page before coming, to check the theme and for any events or rule changes. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We've been here before the pandemic, and after, and are aware of the dress code policy. We brought friends from out of town, just to come to your bar, primarily to enjoy the lower level. There were four of us, two of which could have passed the code without undressing. We were going to use the coat check downstairs. There is no way to know what we had on under our winter clothes as it was below freezing outside. Also, underwear isn't a fetish? We were told it was the remodel that changed being able to let us in, which is not true, since we had no issues getting in previously. We were offered a coupon to go next-door and purchase gear. Like, what? So, we go ask them if they could explain what would get us in, and got a conflicting explanations (to the hole guard's, and their own) on why we couldn't enter your space, including "looking like a skinhead would get us in" and "getting in trouble with the city" and "because of covid" and "the policy is stupid" Like what?? If you are going to practice discrimination and try to gatekeep your own exclusive space, denying entry without an explanation that makes any sense, good luck with that business practice. Hopefully, others read this and don't waste their time trying to be "included". If you don't fit into their profile and look, you are not welcome here.(You're welcome for this feedback): Also, we had a small sling fanny pack and there was no mention of searching it or checking it as we entered until we were enjoying ourselves upstairs, only to be interrupted with the need to pay to check it? We were finishing our drinks and were heading downstairs(so we thought, only to be denied entry) where we planned to check the bag. Understand the need to search/check bags as everyone needs to be kept safe, but we made it all the way into your bar! What if we had something in the bag with bad intent? Figure that out. Hopefully, this review helps someone.
Rodney Zeedyk
14:13 14 Oct 23
Great bar with great people! The upstairs offers a standard bar with music and a stage for shows on select days. Affordable drinks and friendly bartenders.The Hole, downstairs has theme nights on select days and make sure you know the theme before going if you want to go downstairs. The Hole has another bar as well as many other fetish areas. The only rule is to ask before you touch or insert into someone. It's a very fun environment, NOT FOR THE LIGHTHEARTED, EASILY OFFENDED, UPTIGHT, OR NONSEXUAL PEOPLE. OPEN MIND REQUIRED AND NO JUDGEMENT ZONE.
Jacob K.
21:10 05 Oct 23
I really can't reccommend anyone go here. I was visiting before I moved to Chicago and decided to come here. The upstairs is pretty. Pretty Empty. I watched...
Deepan Sivasarana
14:16 28 Sep 23
This is my go-to gay bar in the neighborhood. I've been to several events, especially pup ones, and I've always been made to feel welcome. I've also never had trouble getting into the Hole when proper attire is required on the weekends. I never went to Jackhammer before it re-opened, but I'm glad it did. In my opinion, I prefer it to Cell Block (which was very loud and had a restroom that was wet on every surface and had no privacy) or Touché, which hosted a racist performance to prove it doesn't like PoC. Fun place overall, and I'm glad it's back.
Mayo David
03:55 08 Sep 23
Fun bar with great deals of the day. And the downstairs has a dress code theme. Real friendly people down there.
02:58 19 Aug 23
You know that one suburban friend that renovates his house and thinks he’s on top of the world? That’s the feel you get from this placeFirst, it’s in a sketchy area, I wouldn’t walk around alone late at night. Second, I attended what was supposed to be a big party, Friday 10 pm and you could count the people by hand. The one guard was so rude that I couldn’t believe - does he need tips? Coz I doubt he gets many.As many other people said, go to cell block, it’s on a very safe street in the heart of boystown, always a good service, cheap drinks and immediate fun in the back room. Jackhammer is a joke, they’ll never see my money again
1111 1111
08:38 14 Aug 23
I went to this bar. First impression, it looked very updated and clean. However, I did not like the vibe and was not a fan of the enforcement of the dress code that had different interpretations to different staff. I hung around for about 30 minutes and then left. I ended up going to "Cell Block" in boystown, and now that place was amazing, and what I was hoping to get from Jackhammer. Overall, I wouldn't visit this establishment again.
Robert Adrian
18:12 11 Jul 23
Is a fun gay bar that is different from the usual boystown bars. Has a chill area upstairs with reasonably priced drinks especially compared to other gay bars. The downstairs or as it's named "the hole" is where a lot of the fun is at and highly recommended going if you are a kinky person.
Jonathan Balfour
22:24 11 Jun 23
This isn’t an inclusive/safe space. Their fetish theme and enforcement of it is based any individual, random employees discretion. The door man will let you in and after you’re there and comfortable, someone will approach you and tell you it’s not enough even though you’re practically naked. I was duped into thinking this bar was accepting of everyone and everyone’s fetish. Don’t do the same.In response to the owner:Thanks for responding but I won’t be emailing as I’d like for anyone looking at reviews to take this into consideration as there are multiple options to consider when looking for a bar to express themselves (and spend money at). You’re correct, the dress code rules are posted in a lot of places. I didn’t imply that I wasn’t aware of your rules. As for random employees discretion- what do you call it when the Hole guard takes a look at the singlet you are wearing, allows you to go downstairs, you undress and get comfortable and then are approached by a random employee and based on this employees discretion you are asked to leave? How’s that not a random employees discretion? They weren’t my bartender. They weren’t the Hole guard. In the rules that you assume I haven’t read it states that it’s up to the Hole guards discretion. It’s embarrassing, it’s not necessary and the message wasn’t delivered in a respectful way. I understand why you have a dress code and why it’s to keep the area exclusive and prevent the “gawkers” as you put it in a different response. I actually appreciate that rule. You can trust that when I wear a singlet I am not there to gawk. I am there to be part of a community and I’m there to feel safe. This experience changed that and I won’t trust myself or my friends with the whatever environment you think you’ve created.
B Smith
22:13 29 May 23
I'm giving 4.5 STARS...you can only choose 4 or 5 when reviewing but there were a couple things that stopped me giving 5, and I feel halfway between 4 and 5 fits my experience.First: the positives...Friendly staff, loads of space (3 floors, 3 bars), outdoor area in back for those needing a smoke break or just some cool air and for me personally I love the layout, especially the Hole, with it's nooks and crannies and passages. All in all very sleek, stylish and relatively open flow between main floor and second floor. 2 bag check locations and lockers (which aren't available when bag check is open just FYI) is nice.The negatives...and these are minor but there were a couple of them on my visit. The clothes check was a little disorganized so took a while to find my bag, and when retrieved bag had been put on something wet...which is disconcerting when you feel wetness on you when you pull on your shirt.Negatives aside, had a lot of fun and will absolutely visit again. 🙂
Jesse Ehlmann
03:14 28 May 23
Ordered a screwdriver. I watched the bar tender make it down the bar. He never poured any vodka in it. Then when I asked him about. He lied to my face and promised he did. I watched him make this drink. Never been so disappointed with service at bar.
Michael Ronga
03:09 08 May 23
I understand why there is a bag check/policy, but I don’t understand why you’re told to check your bag in the middle of the bar instead of doing it automatically at the front door. On top of that, it seemed like it was enforced on select people. My boyfriend was immediately yelled at for having his bag as we walked up to the bar, yet I saw at least 10 people in plain view with their bags around their chest. Having never been there before and it being our first visit to Chicago, it didn’t leave a very good impression. The staff were incredibly rude except the person at the front door. Outside of being forced to leave one star, the only good parts were that the bar is beautiful inside and the clientele are friendly. Otherwise, I wouldn’t go back strictly for how my boyfriend and I were spoken to. Sorry for wanting to visit your bar for the first time and not immediately knowing where to go.
Wolf M.
15:51 03 May 23
DO NOT BE DECEIVED!Jackhammer is a about as far away from a world class nightclub as you could possibly get. Apparently all that remodeling didn't include...
brady denton
06:13 29 Apr 23
Acceptance is wonderful. Bar is well maintained and looks great after remodel. Minor issue: shame the upstairs bars won't serve water off the gun. Hydration is key to reducing hangovers, and the discrepancy between servers/bars causes confusion and can lead to over spending. Either serve bottled water or tap water.
Richard Hendrix
04:46 16 Apr 23
Not very friendly. If you go there with friends, you'll have a good time, but don't be single.
Dakota H.
01:12 18 Mar 23
Email to owner on 03-17/03/18You will let someone get assaulted and then blame them for being upset. I told someone 5 times to stop touching me, I grabbed...
Kenneth Buchanan
00:09 10 Mar 23
I was really excited to come here when they (finally)opened, but the management has made all my and my friends’ experiences awful.They make you wear gear to the hole (so too bad if you can’t afford a $200 harness) I am fortunate enough to have some gear, but it really ruins the night when your friend gets turned away because he can’t afford to buy gear next door. It never used to be so exclusive, and they’re making it into something it wasn’t. So many people were excited to go back after it being closed for years, and now they’re excluding those people that were big fans.The second time I went, my friend was denied entry because his license expired on his birthday. Like come on, why does it seem like you guys are trying to upset your once loyal customer base?I don’t think I’ll ever come here again, which is really disappointing knowing how excited I was for them to open. Until they stop being so exclusive, I will not be supporting their business.Edit: Not a good look that you guys don’t respond to any of your bad reviews.
Chris Aiello
09:38 05 Mar 23
Minimal changes upstairs after such a long closure. Be aware new management does not allow entry to the Hole unless you are in fetish gear. Change in policy. Formerly shirtless was acceptable. As someone who made frequent visits to the old Jackhammer this change was an unpleasant surprise. Not because it’s a bad policy. But because it was not mentioned on their website. Had it been an out-of-towner would know what to expect and come prepared or stay away
Jake M.
20:06 03 Mar 23
I finally returned for their grand opening. The place looks nice but thats it. The customer service is terrible as usual. They got that cocky buff guy...
Jake Fitzgerald
00:15 21 Feb 23
Wildly inclusive leather and fetish space. As a non-binary person I feel welcomed and safe in this space which is rare in Chicago (and in general) fetish spaces.
Robert R.
12:56 19 Feb 23
Great space and love the new renovations. $5 cover started at 9pm which was cheap. Drinks were priced well and way cheaper than any boystown bar or club. A...
Sid B.
01:09 19 Feb 23
So let's be real about it. We're not welcome. We tried to go downstairs and we were given every excuse despite others who didn't have the required attire...
Manny P.
09:37 13 Feb 23
Really love the renovations to this place. The down stairs area is really fun and well laid out. Since they just opened, they are still working out the...
Nino Zec
18:29 05 Feb 23
Decent size bar, nice pours on drinks but I only gave it 3 because they a had a generic techo-house playlist with no DJ on a Saturday night. I mean i know dancing isn’t the primary thing people go there for but if you advertise a dance floor you should have a DJ on the weekend.
Ian Hyzy
04:19 05 Feb 23
WE'RE SO BACKstill being violated by the coat check hallway but it's back folks
Chris Duhaime
00:42 05 Feb 23
Some may disagree, but maybe the long wait was worth it. The improvements to this bar are pretty incredible. Feels like the old Jackhammer, but shiny and new. Some may miss the grime, but I sort of love the new vibe.The place was thriving and busy last night which made it fun and energetic and downstairs was a blast.
Robert Przygrodzki
01:09 04 Feb 23
Yay! Glad it's back and looks amazing
Stoney Chicago
06:53 27 Jan 23
Omg. More coat check please. Y’all ran out of space at 10pm 😱💀
John V.
18:11 19 Oct 22
Not sure if it's going to open or not. If someone knows differently, please post something. Thank you.
Eric L.
09:25 10 Aug 22
I usually make stop here when in Chicago. This visit, it was closed down for renovations. Hopefully next time it'll be open.
Bill Smith
05:42 05 Jul 22
Open again!! Come on!
Jorge Lira
13:53 05 Dec 21
They should give a real explanation. All the bars and the sauna have been open for a long time. They have been liars with people.
jason black
03:47 07 Nov 21
There's a lot of fluid around. 😀
Krissta Campbell
17:39 02 Nov 21
POV: You're here from tiktok.Krissta_lc
Youssef Kanaan
03:56 30 Oct 21
There was a lot of fluid around
Ilya Royf
19:46 19 Oct 21
Great experience. One of the best male dancers in town!!
Feggy D.
09:41 19 Jul 21
Nice people all around. The bartenders and staff are great! What more can one ask for?
Jake D
00:51 19 May 21
Awesome seedy bar, a place for locals and tourists alike
Roger P.
22:04 04 Dec 20
Be sure to read the dates on the reviews.Very beige clientelleLotta drunksLotta TinaLotta men downstairs in Andrew Christian briefs who are unfamiliar...
Turtle Sea Squirtle
05:16 23 Feb 20
Loved It
Giles S.
19:06 07 Jul 19
Not a bar for black people. I was there and the bar tender was not cordial at all. There was no one at the door and I proceeded to the rest room and the...
Mitchell D.
10:30 05 Jul 19
This place is awesome. The vibe is grungy but sexy and surprisingly clean. Great drag shows. Kink-It with Mickey Mirage and Maureen San Diego's shows are my...
Dane Peplinski
12:54 04 Jul 19
The place is very interesting but the cover to get into the parties is a huge waste of money and especially if you’re trying to get laid. The downstairs basement “the hole” is very sketchy but it’s hot watching what goes on down there. A lot of the guys there seem to only go with their friend group to play with each other in front of others which is weird but it’s cool to watch. It’s usually the sketchy guys that hang out in the swings but it’s definitely a one time experience. The shop downstairs has some cool stuff there too. Only come here if you’re looking to play though and don’t get nervous, otherwise it’s just a waste of money.
Dishar (Sang)
22:23 27 May 19
I called just to politely ask about my lost debit card, to get someone who was overall rude. I get the place is busy but coming at me a customer simply cause I'm trying to call which took multiple calls to find out about my debit card with sass and unneeded attitude is not a way to promote business. Won't be spending my money there again anytime soon.
Gavin Williams
23:34 16 May 19
Great little bar. We are a couple 29/30 year old. Don’t think it gets busy at all upstairs, but downstairs is a lot of fun with one huge sex room with a wide mix of people!
Leon Huerta
16:09 06 Mar 19
It’s a big space but it gets very slippery so you have to be extremely careful walking around. The events are usually okay. Drinks are so-so decently priced, like going to any other gay club in Chicago. The monthly make out party is the event to attend here free Jell-O shots and fun DJ/hosts.
Geoff Trimpol
01:40 19 Mar 18
Great music, friendly staff. Dance floors upstairs and downstairs on weekends. Theme nights downstairs, dress code like leather or underwear parties. Beware of pickpockets! One of my favourite no attitude clubs, younger and more polished than Touche’ next door (although most go for a drink to start at Touche’ and then head over to Jackhammer...).
wade esser
15:57 11 Aug 16
my first time at this bar was last weekend 8/5/16 the upstairs is nice and does not get busy until midnight. the upstairs bartenders were not very friendly or engaging in conversation even though i was only one of 5 guys in the bar… but I did get there at 10 pm . The downstairs bar is wild and fun clothes check for those that want to be wearing a jockstrap and boots or leather or nothing!! The bartenders down there were super friendly and way hotter (more what you expect from a leather bar) they were wearing jocks and boots etc the upstairs staff just had on shorts and tshirts which i thought was not appropriate attire for a leather bar. Drinks are strong and the type of Men that come there are very friendly and fun. There is a sling , which i was in and had loads of fun with some hot men (thanks guys). there is a group shower room for the WS guys and some dark cubby hole areas for other activities. Its open until 4am so take a nap and don't arrive until midnight have fun I sure did !!!
Blake H.
10:53 23 Mar 15
My partner and I were visiting Chicago over the weekend decided to check out this bar. Living in Utah, we don't have the opportunity to experience places...
Brian Stevens
21:59 29 Oct 13
Unique bar on Chicago's far north side catering to the fetish community. The bar consists of an upstairs, with a dance floor and bar in the front, and a back section with pool tables and a second bar, as well as a basement with a dress code. The bar is connected to the leather store next door and you can go between them during certain hours. The upstairs is a fairly regular bar, though they do sometimes host live music events, while the downstairs is more a hands on fetish destination. Unfortunately the bar has had issues of late with the City and keeps closing and reopening due to ongoing issues.

Reviews from Google Maps, Yelp and WhereIs.Gay

Last Updated

22 June 2021


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09:00 PM - 05:00 AM
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  • Wednesday
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  • Thursday
    09:00 PM - 04:00 AM
  • Friday
    09:00 PM - 04:00 AM
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    03:00 PM - 04:00 AM

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