ForePlay Bar – C4 Night Club In Manteno – Review
The Foreplay Bar and the C4 nightclub in Manteno have experienced many ups and downs in recent years. Both are located at 77 N Main St, Manteno and they are not two separate establishments. Several years ago there was a single bar at this location but the owner turned it into a bar on one side and a dance club on the other. A square shaped bar services patrons in both the C4 dance club and the Foreplay bar. The night club / dance room on the Club C4 side is typically only open on Friday and Saturday. The other side of the bar (Foreplay) is open seven days a week. This blog post is a review of the Foreplay bar and the C4 nightclub in Manteno.
If you have ever tried searching online for this bar’s web site you will likely have noticed that they only have a Facebook page. The only way to learn about drink specials, DJ’s, contests and special events is by going up to the bar and getting a flier or by asking someone. No one ever answers the phone number found on Foreplay’s Facebook page or their business listing on Google so that may not even be the right number.
Obviously they score extremely low in the marketing category. Does this matter in a small town like Manteno? Absolutely. I’ve been going to Foreplay & C4 for over a decade. I’m not a regular but I do go roughly once or twice a month. The owner, a pretty cool guy, has pumped a lot of money into this business. They recently added a new pool table, high-tech Jukebox and the dance club side has nearly everything that you will find at a similar place up north.
They used to have a regular DJ every weekend but I do not think they have had one in at least a few weeks. Needless to say that the bar has been virtually empty because of this. Here is an overview of what you can expect to find if you visit Foreplay and/or Club C4 during week days and the weekends.
Foreplay Bar In Manteno – Sunday Thru Thursday
During weekdays only the Foreplay side of the bar is open. To be completely honest I have only visited this bar in the evening so I cannot tell you how it is during the day. On weekdays between 9:00 PM and closing there are usually between 1 and 10 people at this bar. It is typically a very quiet place and that suits most people just fine. This is what you can do at Foreplay during the week, apart from drinking:
- Pool table
- Air hockey
- Poker/Slots machines – Coming soon according to the rumors.
- Arcade game – A hunting game.
If you like a quiet place to drink on a weekday then Foreplay in Manteno is perfect. Small groups of people come and go but the regulars at this bar are sociable. You will not have to deal with any “tough guys” or trouble makers amongst the regular patrons. The downside is that you might be the only person at the bar. That doesn’t bother me but if you are single and looking this may be a big negative.
Foreplay Bar & C4 Nightclub – Friday & Saturday
The bar / nightclub has been fairly dead these last few weeks but that isn’t normal. Typically there will be a decent number of people at both sides of the bar on Saturday. Friday’s can be busy too but Saturday is generally the big night. C4 hosts special events once every month or two. Here is an overview of some of the special events at C4 and Foreplay from the past 6 months or so:
- Drag Night – This is actually the most popular event at this bar. I have been to several of them and there were always huge crowds. The girl to guy ratio on these night is extremely good so that is a big plus for single men. Perhaps the drag queens put some men off but I’ve found that people are more interested in dancing and drinking.
- Theme Nights – C4/Foreplay hosts special theme nights every now and then. These nights can be very popular and the girls will dress according to the theme (i.e. pajama night, country night).
- DJ Nights – Sometimes they have special DJ’s come in. I’m not very familiar with the big names in the DJ business but I think they hire the popular DJ’s from Chicago.
Foreplay / C4 are typically the most popular bar in Manteno on weekends. The dance floor and bar are not that large but there can easily be a couple hundred people there on a busy night. The club side boasts special dance lights, large TV screens, an excellent sound system, laser lights and a cage that women can dance in. There are also plenty of chairs and couches to relax in. This is really the only place you can dance at in Manteno. Here is a short video from the Chrismas party several years ago.
The atmosphere during the weekends is generally pretty good. Some of the female bartenders and servers wearing body-paint will dance on top of the bar. I only mention that for the single guys out there. I’m engaged so I close my eyes when this occurs (wink wink). It is very rare for there to be fights at C4 and Foreplay, even on the weekends. Sometimes punks, tough guys, wannabe gangsters and other trouble makers will pop in but not much when compared to the bars in Bourbonnais, Bradley or Kankakee.
C4 & Foreplay Bar In Manteno – Drinks & Prices
To be honest I generally stick to beer so I’m not qualified to review the drinks and prices at this bar. Bottles of Miller Light are usually $2.50. They do have some drink specials but not many. Last week they were serving jolly rancher shots for $1. From what I have heard the prices at this bar may be slightly above average.
Foreplay & Club C4 In Manteno – The Staff
I have literally seen dozens of bar tenders come and go at Foreplay and C4. Most of the current staff at Foreplay are young ladies. Virtually every single employee at this bar is very friendly. I do not have any complaints in this department.
- Weekday popularity – 2.5 out of 10
- Weekend popularity – 8.5 out of 10
- Drink variety – 5 out of 10
- Drink prices – 5 out of 10
- Atmosphere – 7 out of 10
- Staff – 8 out of 10
- Establishment quality (i.e. cleanliness) – 9 out of 10
The Foreplay bar in Manteno would greatly benefit from some form of marketing campaign. They need to reach out and tell people what is going on. They need to host more special events and run more drink specials. Just running drink special is not enough though. What good are they if no one knows about them? A simple web site with an events calendar, coupons and pictures would go a long way. The main issue is lack of customers. I just checked their Google business listing and there are only two reviews and they are both negative:
- Stinks, Hoodlums
- No draft beer. Too many young kids in it only fits in one type of crowd. The Hip Hop Crowd.
This is a travesty. The owner could simply write a few himself or ask his regular customers to. As it stands now people searching for information about the Foreplay bar in Manteno will find negative reviews, no web site and outdated information. I can only imagine how many people from other towns in this area attempt to see if anything is going on at this bar but give up when they find nothing, even if there is something really going on. I’m sure many Manteno residents avoid this bar because they can get cheaper drinks, food and enjoy a better atmosphere at one of the other local bars. When Foreplay is deserted people will drive by or pop in for a second and simply leave after seeing no one there. If they would simply market their strengths they would attract many more people. This in turn will convert people looking through the windows into paying customers.