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Looking for neighborhood pub (food & drink) recommendations....

p
pjens01 Jul 27, 2010 10:29 AM

My husband & I are heading to Chicago the beginning of October. We're staying at The Wit in the theater and Loop business districts. We own a small neighborhood pub in Baltimore and are looking for similar type places to visit when in Chicago. Any suggestions???

  1. l
    lbs Jul 27, 2010 01:40 PM

    If you are willing to get out of the downtown area, I'd check out these:

    Hopleaf in Andersonville

    www.hopleaf.com/

    Bad Apple in Lincoln Square

    www.badapplebar.com/

    Rockwell in Lincoln Square (more west). (You may even see Blago hanging out in the area.

    )

    www.rockwellsgrill.com/

    Lincoln Square has a lot of little places to eat and drink at if you wanted to make an afternoon out of it. Same with Andersonville.

    -----
    Hopleaf Bar
    5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

    1. v
      vrollings Jul 27, 2010 02:49 PM

      The Map Room in Bucktown

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

      1. nsxtasy Jul 27, 2010 02:52 PM

        Hopleaf and the Map Room (as well as the Violet Hour) are well-known "destination" bars that attract people from all over the city and suburbs, as well as visitors from out of town. I get the impression that the OP is looking for places where everyone is pretty much from the immediate neighborhood around the place.

        9 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy
          a
          amoncada Jul 28, 2010 03:50 PM

          The Map Room and The Hopleaf are a must do, plus they absolutely fit the 'neighborhood pub' requirement. The Hopleaf is in a great neighborhood with lots to see. Take a walk up and down Clark street and stop in the many shops and and of course Simon's Tavern and The Charlies Ale House.

          Another great bar (although more of a bar than a pub) and music venue is the Green Mill...one of the very best Jazz bars in the entire world. Very interesting crowd here. It was one of Capone's hangouts.

          The Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods, along Milwaukee, North, and Damen Avenue's have a ton of great bars and pubs...The Charleston (close to the Map Room), The Silver Cloud, and several more.

          There a couple of great bars and pubs near The Wit, within a 6 block radius, like English, The Rooftop Bar next to John Marshal Law school, Millers Pub on Wabash, Dublins on State Street in the Gold Coast, The bar in the House of Blues Hotel, etc. Also check out some of the very best bar/pub food in the city at Bijon, kitchen open until 3-4 am.

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

          Charlies Ale House
          5308 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

          Hopleaf Bar
          5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

          Simon's Tavern
          5210 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

          1. re: amoncada
            nsxtasy Jul 28, 2010 04:28 PM

            >> The Map Room and The Hopleaf are a must do, plus they absolutely fit the 'neighborhood pub' requirement.

            That may not be true, depending on how the term is defined. If you define it as "in an interesting neighborhood", then these fit, as do many hundreds of pubs, including some in the neighborhoods you mention, as well as hundreds of others in Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, the South Loop, and other interesting neighborhoods all around the city. If you define "neighborhood pub" as "serving primarily those who live and work in the surrounding neighborhood", then the Map Room and Hopleaf absolutely DO NOT fit the "neighborhood pub" requirement, since both are "destination pubs" whose patrons include folks from all over the city and suburbs, as well as plenty of tourists from out of town.

            >> There a couple of great bars and pubs near The Wit, within a 6 block radius, like English, The Rooftop Bar next to John Marshal Law school, Millers Pub on Wabash, Dublins on State Street in the Gold Coast, The bar in the House of Blues Hotel, etc.

            Dublin's is not within 6 blocks; it's about twice that distance (over a mile) from the Wit.

            The Roof is the rooftop bar in the Wit itself and has gotten plenty of praise. However, like these other places in and near the Loop, most of the customer base does not come from the immediate neighborhood. So depending on what the OP means by "neighborhood pub", they may not quality either.

            Perhaps the OP could assist by telling us exactly what they mean when they say they're looking for a "neighborhood pub".

            1. re: nsxtasy
              p
              pjens01 Jul 29, 2010 12:28 PM

              Here's how I define Neighboorhood pub - were locals go and usually walking distance from where one lives (or works.) Customer is a 'regular' and would know bartenders name, etc & bartender would know what they normally drink, etc. Doesn't have to be as friendly as cheers but along those lines.

              1. re: pjens01
                l
                lbs Jul 29, 2010 12:46 PM

                I still stand by my suggestions then. I do think the Hopleaf is a neighborhood bar and restaurant despite its acclaim and its hype. I often go in a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and sit in the front room and read or hang out with my BF. You have to order drinks and food from the bar since no table service - in the front room only. Back of the place has full table service. It is a "destination" in mind frame only. To me, it is a local bar since I live in the area. It also happens to serve some outstanding food and drink.

                Also to add more in Andersonville: Simon's and Farraguts. No food served but can bring in. Comfy atmosphere especially Farraguts on a summer day since they open up the big windows. Feels like outdoor seating w/o actually being outdoors.

                More in Lincoln Square: Grafton Pub - decent food. Irish; Huttenbar - no food, German; Ricochet's - recently added a kitchen but haven't ate there. Owners are in there frequently;

                -----
                Hopleaf Bar
                5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

                Grafton Pub
                4530 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

                1. re: pjens01
                  nsxtasy Jul 29, 2010 01:01 PM

                  >> Here's how I define Neighboorhood pub - were locals go and usually walking distance from where one lives (or works.) Customer is a 'regular' and would know bartenders name, etc & bartender would know what they normally drink, etc.

                  Hopleaf absolutely DOES NOT fit that definition. I know people who go there from all over the city and suburbs, and bring their friends from out of town with them. It gets discussed a lot on this and other boards, and most of the people do not live in Andersonville. The same thing is true of the Map Room; it's not a place just for locals from the neighborhood (Bucktown). Since you're looking for places where mostly locals hang out and get chummy with the staff, these aren't what you're looking for.

                  >> To me, it is a local bar since I live in the area.

                  But to the majority of the crowd who don't live in the area, it isn't.

                  It's like saying Alinea is a neighborhood restaurant because you live three blocks away. Sure, it's in *your* neighborhood, but that doesn't make it fit what people think of as a "neighborhood restaurant". :)

                  Hopleaf and Map Room (and Violet Hour) are great places for what they are, with good libations and an interesting crowd. But they aren't just for folks from the surrounding neighborhood.

                  pjens01 - I'm sure that, whenever the question comes up on your home board here on Chowhound, "Where is an interesting place for drinks in Baltimore?", there are one or two bars/pubs in Baltimore that are always mentioned, places that knowledgeable people all over Baltimore know about and go to and take visitors from out of town to. It's pretty clear that those places in Baltimore wouldn't fit your definition of "neighborhood pub", right? In Chicago, the three places that fill that same role are Hopleaf, the Violet Hour, and the Map Room, and they are frequently recommended here on Chowhound by and for people who live all over the city and suburbs as well as elsewhere.

                  1. re: nsxtasy
                    l
                    lbs Jul 29, 2010 01:07 PM

                    Never having been to the Map Room, I can't refute that. Having been to the Hopleaf more than I can count on 20 hands and 30 sets of feet, I can refute that. Your mileage may vary.

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

                    Hopleaf Bar
                    5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

                  2. re: pjens01
                    a
                    amoncada Jul 29, 2010 01:26 PM

                    I definitely refute Nsxtasy's claim that The Map Room and The Hopleaf do not fit the bill as a pub. The Maproom is a bonifide pub...it is a perfect example of what you describe, in fact, locals/regulars abound, populate this place from the late morning until close. It's a place where the bartenders and regulars are on a first name basis, and of course they know your drink of choice.

                    The Hopleaf certainly qualifies and a pub too, with plenty of locals/regulars from immediate area. Granted, the food and vibe is more in line with a European European/Belgian style pub.

                    I stand by my recs.

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

                    Hopleaf Bar
                    5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

                    1. re: amoncada
                      nsxtasy Jul 29, 2010 01:43 PM

                      >> I definitely refute Nsxtasy's claim that The Map Room and The Hopleaf do not fit the bill as a pub.

                      I did not say that they are not pubs; please do not claim I said something I never said and argue to the contrary.

                      They are not NEIGHBORHOOD PUBS as the OP has defined it, where the customers all come from the immediate neighborhood.

                      As for regulars being greeted by name, you have that at any restaurant or pub. Heck, there are regulars at Alinea who are greeted by name, but that does not make Alinea a "neighborhood restaurant", as the OP has defined the term; most people who go to Alinea do not come from the immediate neighborhood, and most people do not know the names of the staff. The same is true of Hopleaf and the Map Room. These two establishments probably have the highest percentage of people who are not from the neighborhood of any bar not downtown and not located in a hotel. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you're looking for places where everyone there lives or works close by, they don't fit that definition at all. Heck, on their website the Map Room calls itself "A Traveller's Tavern" - the exact opposite of a neighborhood pub.

                    2. re: pjens01
                      j
                      jbw Jul 29, 2010 09:08 PM

                      You might want to give Schallers Pump a looksee, altho be warned it gets pretty lively before a White Sox game (particularly if they're still around this year during playoff season). Basic but satisfying bar grub and a lot of Southside character (you'll see just how much if you come wearing a Cubs cap), and like any great neighborhood bar worthy of its name, it doesn't have a website, but you can read some about it here:

                      http://www.centerstagechicago.com/bar...

              2. chicgail Jul 29, 2010 02:47 PM

                The Charleston on Charleston and Hoyne in Bucktown. They even refer to it as "A Chicago Tavern Classic." It's been there for 20+ years and contains a photo booth, a piano, a stuffed goat and a pool table and it was Chicago's first smoke-free pub.

                I'm sure there are other good neighborhood taverns, but I doubt if there is a better example of a neighborhood pub where "everybody knows your name." Lots of people outside the neighborhood have heard about it, but it is not a destination like Hopleaf, or even nearby Map Room.

                http://www.charlestonchicago.com/

                1. p
                  pamiam Jul 29, 2010 10:01 PM

                  I suggest Weegee's Lounge. Definitely neighborhoody (take a cab, though), but a cut above most in terms of cocktails/beer. http://www.yelp.com/biz/weegees-loung...

                  1. j
                    jbontario Jul 30, 2010 09:25 AM

                    I will not comment on the argument going on above as we definately have an i say potaeto and you say potahto situation.

                    For what I would call a true neighborhood place, you need not travel that far. I live in River North and we have two great gems where the bartenders are the owners and will give you a big wave and a how ya doin as you walk in the door.

                    These are 15 minute walk from Wit or 5 minute cab.

                    The Green Door Tavern on N Orleans and W Huron - a 90 year chicago tradition, good food and great folks http://greendoorchicago.com/

                    Club Lago on N Orleans and W Superior -- this is really an bar that has a good Italian restaurant in the back. Same family for 50 years. http://clublago.com/home.html

                    The Kerryman on N Clark and W Erie -- a real irish bar and grill (fancy pub) that if you show up early enough in the day will be packed with expats watching soccer. Also a terrific outdoor patio. Has morphed a bit from the neighborhood joint over the last 2 years, but still mostly people walking there.
                    http://www.thekerrymanchicago.com/

                    True you will not find the massive selections of beers at some of the other far away places that are mentioned, but you didn't ask for a hops experience.

                    Also, what bar to you own? I've done a ton of work in Linthicum and love to find new locals places like Salt and Regi's.

                    -----
                    Club Lago Restaurant
                    331 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654

                    Green Door Tavern
                    678 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654

                    Kerryman Bar & Restaurant
                    70 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jbontario
                      i
                      igorm Jul 30, 2010 02:39 PM

                      Green Door definitely!

                      1. re: jbontario
                        p
                        pjens01 Jul 31, 2010 09:24 AM

                        Hi! thanks for the suggestions!! I'm part owner of Captain Larry's on Fort Ave, between federal Hill & Locust Point. http://captainlarrys.com/

                        It's most definitely a neighborhood pub! Please stop in if you're ever in the area!!

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