Rosa's Lounge

Logan Square
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Rosa's is a very personal statement of the owners, drummer Tony Mangiullo and his mother, Rosa. The facility is not impressive -- just another long tavern room -- but the club bills itself as the "friendliest blues lounge" and actively pursues both blues purists (by booking acoustic and traditional performers and occasionally risky out-of-town acts) and the rock fringe (avant-garde artists like guitarist Melvin Taylor and blues harp wizard Sugar Blue). Regardless of which group Rosa's regulars are in, they are passionate. The graffiti in the bathrooms argues about which Sonny Boy Williamson was a better musician and the thin line between tribute and the rip-off of traditional artists. Occasionally, Rosa cooks food for patrons. The club is a bit off the beaten path (though not far from Boulevard Cafe and Abril restaurants), but as Tony proudly points out, even national magazines like Rolling Stone have taken notice and raved about the place, and Czech President Vaclav Havel made a point of visiting when he was in town for a conference.