Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chicago's best northside dives

For each swanky see-and-be-seen Chicago nightclub, there’s a jukebox playin’, bourbon-slingin’ dive just around the corner. When I don’t feel like prancing around in pumps and slinky dresses, I throw on some tattered jeans and head to these neighborhood joints, where I know I can chug at least three beers for the price of one fanciful martini.

Carol’s Pub has live country-western music on the weekends and the crowd here isn’t afraid to show its two-steppin’ roots. The bar is open until 5 a.m. and folks of all ages and races flock to Carol’s after midnight, when things really start to liven up.

The smoking ban has been in full swing since January, but you can still puff away on Edgewater Lounge’s outdoor patio. Recently, the pub’s beer prices increased, but the laid-back atmosphere is still unbeatable. Edgewater Lounge also has a full menu.

Baskets of popcorn at Kitty Moon are always stale, but they’re also always free. The bar hosts live music throughout the week and its jukebox song selection is second to none.

If there’s one place that can turn an epically awful day into a fleeting thing of the past, it’s the Long Room. The bartenders here know their brews and they don’t get pissy when you ask for recommendations. You won’t find any food at the Long Room, but the tamale guys make their rounds after 10 p.m.

Simon’s Tavern is a great spot to wait out long lines at the nearby Hopleaf. Sure, the beer selection doesn’t even begin to rival its Beglian-fueled neighbor, but Simon’s quick service makes up for that.

This article first appeared on
The Whole 9.

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