West Suburbs for Bears Game
Moving my brother into his new home in Downers Grove this Friday and Saturday. We need some ideas for a few pubs/bars for good food & beer, and atmosphere. I know the scene in Chicago pretty well but not at all in the Western Suburbs. What's decent in the general area? How's Emmetts on Main Street? How's the bar at Wildfire in Oak Brook?
Wildfire in Oakbrook is PACKED every time I go in there. It's also pretty darn pricey. If you don't mind an Irish pub atmosphere, Ballydoyle's on Main Street in Downers is good. I'm a little further north than Downers Grove (Addison area) but been to this place and would go back.
Emmett's is okay -- it's a nice bar, but I was pretty underwhelmed by the food. Wildfire, on the other hand, has better food but not much of a bar scene. In fact, the bar really is more of a crowded waiting area for people waiting to be seated. And there isn't much in the way of TVs to watch a game.
Ballydoyle is a good recommendation, but, as mentioned, it's an Irish pub (with an emphasis on pub fare like fish and chips, etc.). If that's okay with you, than it may fit the bill.
I actually would recommend the Clubhouse in Oak Brook mall. It obviously is really "suburban" (and is a chain), which might not be to your liking, but they actually have pretty good food, IMO, and a decent bar area. In general, in the DG/Lombard/Oakbrook Terrace area, you'll find that your choices are pretty much limited to chains. That said, there are some decent higher-end chain places with okay bar food.
I'd suggest Chef Paul's Bavarian Lodge on Ogden Ave. in Lisle. Good German/Bohemian food, GREAT beer, and they have a large bar area. http://www.bavarian-lodge.com
Another option is the Lodge at the Four Lakes ski area, also in Lisle. It has a very large bar and (surprisingly) decent food, but be forewarned, it's very much a "meat market" atmosphere in the evenings...
Hmmm. The Bavarian Lodge sounds interesting. I'll definitely check it out on one of my trecks to the west. As far as the Lodge goes, I'll be visiting all of the recommendations since I'll be spending lot's of time out there with my bro. Meat market? Yeah, my cousins and I will be sure to avoid all that "Eye Candy" at the Lodge. Any relation to the Lodge on Division Street downtown...kidding.
I never in a million years would've thought that I'd see the Four Lakes Lodge (formerly the Pub) mentioned on Chowhound. Do they actually have food now? I grew up in Lisle and, admittedly, haven't been to the Pub/Lodge in close to a decade. However, if the atmosphere (and clientele) are similar to how they were in the mid 1990s (and I can't imagine it's changed that much), then one visit probably will be plenty.
Before I forget, let's add Country House in Lisle and Clarendon Hills to the list of bar-type places to visit!
Two months ago I never would have considered mentioning the Lodge at Four Lakes. But I went there on a Saturday afternoon with a friend and had a really good burger, quite frankly as good as any I've had in the past couple years at Country House.
I'll be honest, I would never imagine setting foot in the place in the evenings, but I do plan to go again during the day. Due to their (well-deserved) past reputation, they offer half-price food before 4PM as a way to get people to show up...