Goldie’s Bar - North Center 2829 N Lincoln Ave.
There’s not many bars I usually advise to visiting, but Goldies on Lincoln and Berenice is definitely one of them. Want a good bunch of weirdos cheering on the Bulls while you drink $1 beers? Goldies is everything to everyone. Say the popular sports team isn’t playing at the moment you’re having a drink at Goldie’s, ask to play from any of their Nintendo/Super Nintendo/Sega systems! This place is my heart, my soul, my spouse and hooker. Its got a little bit of everything for me. Despite the fact that PBRs are $1 every day, dogs are allowed, and you don’t have to fight some asshole crowd to order a beer, this place remains generally empty. Perfect– my kind of bar! And the bartenders are the fucking shit! If somebody doesn’t tip, they’ll stare at the patron, call them out on their shit, and then wait for a tip. Its the most fun you can have while drinking $1 PBRs. If you’re smart, you’ll order a pizza from somewhere nearby and have it delivered. Cause customers there do it every couple of hours, and you’re gonna get really hungry with that somebody else’s pie lying around.
I just ate a mouthful of Poo’s.
Hey Rock & Roll McDonalds,
Your outside statues creep me the fuck out.
Best of Roscoe Village Part 3
Four Treys 3333 N Damen Ave
Not to be confused with Four Moons, Four Treys is about a block away on the corner of Henderson and Damen. And where Four Moons caters to drinkers looking for unique craft beers and something to eat, Four Trey’s offers two terrible taps (Magners and Bud Light) and some other restaurant’s menu to look at. In case you get really hungry, I’ve heard rumors that if you yell “¡Tengo Hambre!” towards the heavens and then rub your stomach three times, the Tamales Guy will come running with as many tamales as your bloated drinking belly can handle. And if you get really desperate, beg the bartender for a Milkbone. Just don’t be surprised if you have to compete with two other dogs to get your treat. That’s right, since they lack the ability to feed you solids, you can bring dogs into the bar! I really think there is nothing better than getting drunk with your best friend next to you– You walk them there, and they walk you home.
Like I said before, The Four Treys beer selection is pretty awful; they have a couple different domestic bottles and random liquors behind the bar but the only thing I see people ordering are PBRs and shots of Jameson. But when you have a daily deal (except for Friday and Saturday) of $2.50 Pabsts and $3 shots of Jameson, who’d want to order anything else? Other highlights include a stuffed shark, a pool table and no crowds. My only issue with this bar is any time they show Bears games– a couple of regulars always mute the TV and blast the radio coverage– commericals included, which is ten times more annoying than listening to Joe Buck announce the game. As long as the Bears aren’t playing, or I’m supposed to be working, you can find me with a beer and a shot at The Four Treys.
Best of Roscoe Village Part 2
Four Moons Tavern 1847 W Roscoe St.
If you were to stand on Roscoe & Wolcott and look at the establishment, you would see two things: 1. The top-half of a building ready to collapse and 2. One really shitty logo. If I had any concern for my own well-being or was any more of an art fag (than I already am), I’d never step foot in that place. Fortunately for them, I’m incredibly lazy and only live a couple houses away. The inside of this place looks like a bar that you’d come across vacationing in the furthest outskirts of Wisconsin, except without all the un-ironic trucker hats and Miller Lite vinyl banners. While Four Moons does offer all the “excitement” of the Miller Lite vortex bottle, the bar counteracts it with an awesome selection of really great microbrews on tap like Two Bros, Lagunitas, Great Lakes and Ommegang. There’s very few places in the city, where I can watch Da Bulls, play pool, listen to Scotland Yard Gospel Choir on the jukebox, and enjoy a great craft brew all at the same time.The one downside about this bar is its food. I’ve had people come up to me raving about it, but every time I order something, I end up wondering if I’ve lost the ability to discern what good food should taste like. Eating their sweet potato fries was like chewing on a cold, stiff railroad ties, and on a couple different brunch outings, they served me the coldest fried eggs I’ve ever had the displeasure of tasting. Not one to leave a bad taste in your mouth, allow me to mention the best part of Four Moons Tavern– Sparky! This bartender extraordinaire is like a creature born to be behind a bar. He’s part man, part tavern. Wearing a collared shirt with a perfectly white bar apron, he’s a call back to a time where bartenders would only stop rubbing down the bar to ask “What ya’ll have Mac?”. You get the feeling that there’s a reason why this bar is so great, and I’m pretty sure he has a big part to play with it.
Best of Roscoe Village
Roscoe Village gets a bad rap. Hipsters scoff at it cause its not Logan Square, “Bros” piss on it cause its not Wrigleyville, and “Trixies” snub it cause its not Lincoln Park. That’s why I like it. Sure you have to walk on the grass because of all the strollers that take up the entire width of the sidewalk, but its worth it. You know why? Cause babies equal boring. And when something is considered boring, people avoid it like a bottle of O’Doul’s at a party. Which is how I like my neighborhoods: underrated and quiet. Here’s my three-way tie for the best bars in Roscoe Village!
Best of Roscoe Village Part 1
Village Tap 2055 West Roscoe Street
Got a first/blind date coming up? Go to the Village Tap! They’ve got something for everybody! And if you’re not having a good time, say you’re going to the bathroom and just walk out the patio’s back door. But chances are you’ll tell your date to leave, because you want to enjoy everything that the bar has to offer. The Village Tap a huge menu, and some really excellent vegetarian burgers. As a meat muncher (that’s a saying, right?”) who’s dating a vegetarian, I can appreciate a place that actually accommodates vegans and other dietary freaks. I usually end up eating my old hag’s veggie leftovers on top of finishing my own meaty burger– that’s how good all the food is. (Note to the people on first/blind dates: Don’t do this. Or at least ask before you put your sweaty mitts all over their half-eaten entrees.) Don’t have much to say to your date? Drink one or all of their 26 craft brews on tap– that should loosen your tongue among other things. And if you or your date are actually interesting and have something to say, you don’t have to compete with blasting speakers. In fact, the whole bar has a lower energy vibe, perfect for warding off loud, cunty drunks. Without a doubt, one of the bar’s best features is the four-season outdoor patio. During the colder days, they’ve got a cozy fireplace lit out there, and during the summer, you can bask in the sunlight and not feel bad for drinking at noon. And with these random 50°F days in March, Village Tap is a sure thing if you’re looking to do some patio drinking.
Not usually a fan of Urban Outfitters but c’mon… this is pretty alright.
Shoes Pub (1134 W. Armitage Ave.) Lincoln Park
Personality is one of those things most Lincoln Park bars skimp on. The bars here feel like chains. Every weekend you’ll find them packed to the brim with DePaul students “crushing it” with their Jägerbombs and Miller Lites, screaming the lyrics to either Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” or Cee Lo Green’s “F*** You”… and if that’s your thing, wonderful. Keep it up, so we can avoid you… but if you want a bar that breaks away from the LP standard, we have the PERFECT place for you!
Shoes Pub is a killer dive just 2 blocks West of the Armitage Brown Line stop. Equipped with a pool table ($1.50 per game), 2 dart boards (FREE!!!), an inter-webs jukebox, incredibly friendly staff & a laidback crowd, we dare you to say “This is just another Lincoln Park bar”.
The pub is plastered with giant black and white posters of Chicago greatness. Images of Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, the 61 Hawks, Ditka (flipping off the camera, no less) and Al Capone let you know this bar is proud of her city.
The bar has 6 beers on draft and also offers 40oz Schlitz in a paper bag at $7.50 and PBR cans for $2.50. If there’s one thing we can whine about, it’s the cost of a shot. $6 for a shot of Jameson?! Guess you have to keep the lights on somehow. They also do a decent Karaoke night on Fridays. Shoes can hold her own on the weekend but Shoes really shines on the off nights. We spent a Sunday night there and Shoes managed to charm the pants right off of us (and that was after only ONE drink). We can’t stress enough how awesome the staff is here. We asked the bartender if there were any specials and he replied, “Since you’re the only customers we have right now, have whatever. It’ll end up being the special.” HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
Shoes pub may very well be one of the best bars in Lincoln Park. So, if you’re stuck in LP and want to avoid the run of the mill douche baggery, we strongly recommend Shoes Pub. Have a Schlitz, play some darts, sing a song (as long as it’s not Cee Lo or Journey) and enjoy the libations.
Blackies 755 S. Clark (South Loop/Printer’s Row)
In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, we’re reviewing Blackie’s, quite possible the most romantic place in Chicago. Well, if Valentine’s Day decorations are romantic, then this place is Paris… or Venice… or Nick’s Uptown at 4 am (whatever’s the most romantic place in your heart). We’ve never seen so many paper hearts hanging from a ceiling. It looked like a second grade teacher was left in charge of decorating the place, and it worked. They had us at the “Be Mine” cut-out heart. “We’re yours, Blackie’s, we’re all yours.”
This was our second trip back to the bar, and it was our sole mission to try the $7 burger and beer deal. The only stipulation with the special was that you had to order it before 7pm. We rolled up at 6:30, got seated right away and had our drinks at the table within 4 minutes. Awesome.
Ten minutes later we got our burgers. Fantastic.
Before we get started on the special, a little about the bar: It’s off the backside of Printer’s Row and seems like it’s only visited by locals. That said, it’s pretty low-key. You’re not gonna run into some loud drunks and wish you could smack the douche out of their bags. This the sort of place where you can take off your shoes and stay a while. (Don’t take off your shoes, that’s disgusting– even on an airplane.)
The service is exceptional and reminds of being in a small diner. The server is constantly walking past your table and asking if you need anything. And once you place an order, BAM! It’s there!
Now back to the burger: It was “better than average”. But what do you expect for $7, and it comes with fries and a beer? Actually, everything between the buns was great (You’ll never hear us say those words again, we promise). If only Blackie’s would throw in an extra nickle for a better bun, the burger would be exceptional. Speaking of exceptional, Blackie’s fries were the talk of the table. If they changed the burger special to a big basket of fries and a decent beer, we’d be just as happy. Bad Dog Tavern might have some competition for Chicago’s best fries.
Blackie’s, you were trying to set the mood for V-Day and be Chicago’s Romance Headquarters. But in the end, we were the ones who fell head over heels for you. Don’t take this the wrong way: but if we’re in the South Loop and get the urge, would you mind if we stop by for a quicky? We know you don’t take long.
Weather Mark Tavern 1503 S. Michigan Ave. (South Loop/Prairie District)
A sailing-themed bar in Chicago? What a naughty-cally (get it?) fun idea! Ahhh jeez, just because you hang some fishing nets & a row boat from the ceiling, that doesn’t make your bar sea-worthy in the least. Anyone who walks into a bar and is greeted by a tiki hut or a black light board, should just turn around and leave. And this place had both. Luckily for you we’re both idiots, so we forged ahead.
The bar itself looks like the owner spent all of 3 minutes in deciding the look of the bar. When we think of a sailing themed bar, much less a place called The WEATHER MARK Tavern, for some fucking reason we expect “weathered” to be an appropriate adjective for the bar. You know like heavily-lacquered wood that’s cracked and dried from years of exposure to the sea air. Shit like that. (After writing this review, we found out that a “weather mark” is a buoy in competitive sailing.) Rather, the Weather Mark Tavern looks like any other bar who’s neighborhood has been recently gentrified, and then decorated with the knickknacks from a defunct Red Lobster. You know, THAT KIND OF BAR. What I’m getting at is that the bar doesn’t feel authentic. The Weather Mark feels as much like a sailing bar as Chili’s feels like a neighborhood hangout. Just because we can hang some vintage Guiness signs and a Notre Dame flag in our living room, doesn’t mean our apartment is suddenly an Irish pub. Same deal with the Weather Mark.
The owner came close to creating nice seating areas. Each little seating nook has two couches, a coffee table and is separated from the other areas with floor to ceiling boat sails. Its creative, but there’s just something about sitting between floor to ceiling sails that makes us feel like we’re drinking at a SuperCuts. And when the couches are 10 feet apart, its nearly impossible to hear anyone on the opposite sofa. Especially when the internet jukebox is blasting a nonstop playlist of Pink, Ke$ha, and some other Pop tart. (There was actually a moment where Anthony asked “IS THIS KE$HA?!” and was told by a friend that “NO, THIS IS PINK!”. Then a Ke$ha song came on.)
One thing that drove us absolutely nuts was the smell. It punched us in the nose as soon as we walked in the bar. We’re not sure if it smells like this all the time, but something about how strong it was made us think it was intentional. Our guess is that the owner decided that hanging sailing shit on the wall wasn’t enough, it had to smell like the ocean!
“But what’s the ocean smell like? Hmmm, well the ocean has water in it, and so does a public pool. By the Laws of Transitive Properties of Science and Stuff, the ocean probably smells like chlorine!.” (We should be lucky he didn’t come to the conclusion that public pools smell like urine and Band-Aids.) Seriously,the smell of bleach was insane. How we didn’t walk out of the bar with nose bleeds is beyond me.
Rather than suggesting they change the look, smell and feel of the bar, we’re going to suggest new bar names that better suit the bar. How about:
•Totally Nautical… Knot!
•Seamen A’ Plenty
•I Gotta Regatta
•Yacht Sea (Then they could replace that boring trivia night with the fun-time dice game that everyone loves)
Yeah, sorry this list didn’t make much sense, Anthony just loves puns. However, we will make one concession about the bar: The servers were on point. Seriously, every 5 minutes that we finished a beer, they brought us a new ones. Perfect timing every time. They are the north stars of that terrible, sinking ship.
Sorry Weather Mark Tavern, your attractive daily specials and comfortable couches couldn’t outweigh our annoying Friday night experience. If you’re ever in the South Loop/Prairie District, find another place. If we ever started a rating system for 2 Jerks, we’d have to give this place 4 dead mermaids (Five is the worst obviously). Go to the nearby Three Peas Art Gallery instead. We’ll do a glowing review of that place the next time we get a moment of sobriety.
P.S. Graphic Designers: For a good time, click here to go to the Weather Mark splash page- (Check out the Papyrus font– HAHAHA!)