Nobody’s Darling, 1744 W. Balmoral Ave., has nearly doubled the size of its space by expanding into the neighboring storefront. Credit: Block Club Chicago/Kayleigh Padar

ANDERSONVILLE — Popular cocktail bar Nobody’s Darling has nearly doubled in size after taking over the neighboring storefront to accommodate its growing customer base.

People can check out the new space at the cocktail bar, 1744 W. Balmoral Ave., starting this weekend, owners Angela Barnes and Renauda Riddle said. 

“We’re excited to have additional space to build more community one cocktail at a time,” Barnes said.  

The new space includes a second bar counter, another disco ball, a window booth and much more room to mingle.

On weekends, the doors to the new addition will be open to accommodate more people, the owners said. On other nights, the owners plan to rent the space out so people can host private events, Barnes and Riddle said. 

“I hate going places and you’re really looking forward to it, and then you see a sign on the door that it’s closed for a private event,” Riddle said. “Now, this gives us the opportunity to keep the bar open but still be a place where someone can have a party.” 

Nobody’s Darling, 1744 W. Balmoral Ave., expanded into the storefront next door. Credit: Block Club Chicago/Kayleigh Padar
The expansion at Nobody’s Darling, 1744 W. Balmoral Ave., nearly doubled the space within the bar. Credit: Block Club Chicago/Kayleigh Padar

The Black- and queer-owned bar opened in 2021, taking over the former space of Joie De Vine, one of the city’s only lesbian bars.

Nobody’s Darling is the second Black-owned LGBTQ+ bar in Chicago alongside stalwart Jeffery Pub in South Shore, and is among the only nightlife spots in the city for queer women.

It quickly became popular among neighbors and generated high praise from critics for its cocktail program. It was named a 2022 finalist for best bar program in the country by the James Beard Foundation, considered the Oscars of the food and drink industry. It’s also been profiled in the Washington Post and NBC News.

The new space will be used to accommodate more visitors and allow for more private events. Credit: Block Club Chicago/Kayleigh Padar

The owners began planning the expansion late last year. The bar received more than $68,000 in city grants for the expansion through the Chicago community development grant initiative.

Riddle said they “couldn’t have anticipated” needing more space so soon. 

“We’re so fortunate to have the success and the opportunity to expand,” Riddle said. “Just to provide more space for the community to come together is something we’re really excited about.” 

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