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Where's the best "local's" bar......best ambiance for a great beer and atmosphere?

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Four friends are coming into town to celebrate one's birthday. We need to make sure that everyone gets to go to at least one of their must see places.

My choices were Frontera, M.Henry's and looking for a great steak place.
Friend number #2 wants Hot Dougs, GIno's Pizza and Garret's Popcorn.
Friend #3 wants a great bar to get a beer with atmosphere where all the locals go.
Friend #4.wants great appetizers and lunch place.

Can you help us with any suggestions?

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Hot Doug's
3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

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  1. >> My choices were Frontera, M.Henry's and looking for a great steak place.

    We have a lot of excellent steakhouses. David Burke's Primehouse is as good as it gets.

    >> Friend number #2 wants Hot Dougs, GIno's Pizza and Garret's Popcorn.

    You ought to be able to incorporate Garrett's into any itinerary, since it doesn't take up an entire meal and they have several locations.

    >> Friend #3 wants a great bar to get a beer with atmosphere where all the locals go.

    Hopleaf in Andersonville.

    >> Friend #4.wants great appetizers and lunch place.

    This is confusing to me. Do you mean appetizers like bar food, or appetizers like you'd find in a finer dining restaurant? You could satisfy one of your choices as well as his by going to Frontera Grill (or, better yet, Topolobampo) for lunch. Blackbird is a good place to hit for lunch too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      There are many bars in Chicago where locals go, but none where ALL locals go. The one bar where all the local hop-headed beer nuts go, is the Map Room. On any night you might find a number of local brewmasters, both amateur and professional, hanging out talking shop. The bartenders are all very knowledgable about beer and the various processes and ingredients used in brewing different types of ales and lagers. The tap selection of micro-brews and hard to find imports is second to none in the city, and possibly the midwest.

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      The Map Room
      1949 N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    2. Not sure if this will impact your plans, but all of the Bayless restaurants are closed for their annual staff trip to Mexico. They will reopen on July 8th.