Boystown is the name of a district within Chicago, Illinois situated within the neighborhood of Lakeview.
The district’s informal boundaries are Irving Park Road on the north, Broadway on the east, Wellington Avenue on the south, and Sheffield Avenue on the west. Boystown lies just south of the Wrigleyville district, another popular district within the Lakeview neighborhood. Boystown has carved a niche all its own within the urban fabric of Chicago. It’s Chicago’s main gay neighborhood home to LGBT organizations such as Equality Illinois and Center on Halsted and is home to the annual Gay Pride Parade.
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Boystown is known for its colorful, lively nightlife and inviting atmosphere. Bars close at either 2 or 4 a.m. on weekdays and Sundays (depending on the bar), and many are open until 5 a.m. Saturday night/Sunday morning. Boystown also includes some of Chicago’s Off-Loop Theater, specialty restaurants, greystone and brownstone walk-up buildings and other historic architecture, trendy fashion outlets, wine boutiques, chain stores and independent shops. Many of these stores and businesses line the streets of Halsted, Belmont, Broadway, Clark and Sheffield.
Public transportation in Boystown is provided by the CTA with stations at Belmont, Addison, and Sheridan on the Red Line, and Belmont and Wellington on the Brown Line. Numerous CTA bus routes also serve the district, as well as taxi cabs.
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North Halsted Street is the main street of this bustling district. City planners have designated North Halsted an official pedestrian and bike route following a 1998 community project that resulted in the erection of 11 pairs of rainbow-colored abstract Art Deco pylons along the strip. Alderman Thomas M. Tunney represents the 44th Ward on the city council; Boystown is a part of this ward.