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:

•Bleachin’ BARnacle
•Whatta Porthole
•Land, Hoe!
•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!)

  1. twojerkswalkintoabar posted this
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