2100 SE Clinton St., 731-6500, nightlightlounge.net/home. 2 pm-2:30 am Monday-Friday, 10 am-2:30 am Saturday-Sunday. Happy hour 2-7 pm Monday-Friday, 3-7 pm Saturday-Sunday, 11 pm-close nightly: $6 nachos! $1.50 PBR!
Established: May 2004
The place famous for (briefly) hanging a painting depicting Adolf Hitler wearing a "Make America Great Again" baseball cap also happens to be one of Southeast Clinton Street's best bars. With copper tables, huge booths and a happy hour that's too good to be true, Night Light always attracts a huge helping of neighborhood regulars. Whether it's Tinder dates on their first or fourth stop of the night, a man in a cowboy hat talking about how jazz saved his life or a crew of hip twentysomethings, Night Light is the most lit spot in an otherwise family-focused area. Just check the toilet seat for leftover puke.
One of the best happy hour deals in the city? The $6 nachos, which look about a full foot high and are layered hot with guacamole, jalapeños, green and red onion, pico de gallo, sour cream and black olives. Wash it all down with a $1.50 pint of PBR.
Bar story: Night Light's ads boast: "Not on Division since 2004," which has actually proven to be both a bragging right and a problem for them. The Clinton area petitioned for the bar to be denied a liquor license in 2004, fearing it'd be too loud for the neighborhood. The bar's co-owners—a group of friends in their 20s and 30s—fought it at an OLCC hearing, and won. But the curse remained, and just a few months opening, an electrical fire threatened to shutter the bar forever. Thankfully, it reopened a few weeks later.