The Garage at The Sardine Bar

The Sardine Bar, located near Northwestern’s Chicago campus in Streeterville at the historic 680 North Lake Shore Drive building, is a satellite extension of The Garage in Evanston. The space is a hub for Pritzker School of Law, Feinberg School of Medicine, Kellogg School of Management, and PhD students based on the Northwestern Chicago campus to work on their entrepreneurial projects, as well as Chicago alumni interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. 

The unique space was originally a jazz bar called “The Gold Star Sardine Bar,” hosting musical greats like Tony Bennett, Liza Minelli, and Bobby Short. We’re keeping the exterior signage intact and using a portion of the original name to pay homage to the fun piece of Chicago history. 


About The Sardine Bar

The Sardine bar, located near Northwestern’s downtown Chicago campus, is a physical space and community for Northwestern students working on entrepreneurial projects to meet, co-work, and learn. It serves as an extension of The Garage (located on the Evanston campus). The space is outfitted with individual workspaces, collaborative co-working spaces, a conference room, sound proof privacy booths, and white board walls.

Access to The Sardine Bar

The Sardine Bar is for Northwestern students on the downtown Chicago campus working on an entrepreneurial project and Northwestern alumni with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. In order to gain access to The Sardine Bar, you must be designated as a Student Founder or an Ambassador. 

Student Founders are current Northwestern students working on their own ventures, ranging from for profit to medical innovations. Ambassadors are students, faculty, and staff interested in becoming a part of the entrepreneurship community in Chicago and helping us grow The Sardine Bar. Both Student Founders and Ambassadors are granted access on an invitation basis via a strictly vetted application. Access is reviewed annually.

The Sardine Bar is only accessible by Wildcard via a card reader at the door. Student Founders are granted 24/7 access and Ambassadors are granted access during staffed hours at The Sardine Bar, M-F 12 PM – 6 PM

For more information on becoming a Student Founder or Ambassador, please contact

Toujours l'amour

What does toujours l’amour mean? One of the greatest draws of The Sardine Bar is its exciting history, so we have opted to keep all exterior signage intact, including lists of the greats who performed on the bar’s tiny stage (now our supply closet!). Inside The Sardine Bar, a neon sing hangs on the wall reading “toujours l’amour,” which translates to “love always,” in French. In an effort to preserve the memory and integrity of the original venue, we’ve restored this special neon sign (along with a few others) and adopted the phrase as our tagline for The Sardine Bar. 

You can learn more about The Sardine’s Bar history on WBEZ’s Curious City, here.

Questions about The Sardine Bar? Please contact us at