Unpredictable sounds come throbbing out of this establishment, Wicker
Park's first for live music, every night of the week. You're just as
likely to hear savvy jazz as you are amateur nu metal, and frowned-upon
cover songs are kept in their rightful place: Wrigleyville. Bands new
to Phyllis' are generally booked on Sunday and Wednesday nights, so
it's gem or junk those evenings. The low stage is in a pocket at the
back of the long room, a narrow design that handicaps the acoustics.
There's also usually jazz on Monday and an open mic on Tuesday.
The wall mural is something like a prodigious high school art student's
take on Michael Jackson's nightmarish video for "Leave Me Alone," and a
broken piano haunts a far wall. The seating is made up of standard bar
stools, salvaged theater seats and a group of chest-high tables, and
there is a courtyard with a basketball hoop surrounded by a tall stone
wall. Service can be sluggish, but for a night of palatable cover
charges; loud, loud music and cheap drinks, it's tough to beat owner
Clem Jaskot's ragtag hovel of racket.