Chicago bars run the gamut from the gleaming high end playgrounds where thirsty visitors can imbibe finely crafted cocktails, such as the Berkshire Room, to well trodden and familiar places that wear their signs of age like badges of pride, places like The Berghoff with its warm, wooden drinking lounge on Adams Street.
Many bars become the preferred forum for people to trade stories. Few bars can boast the claim as starting point for as many stories as Old Town’s Ale House. The Ale House is the watering hole where audience members and performers from nearby Second City performing space will spill over after shows. Watch out for sharp laughter and a no-nonsense attitude: the longtime owner and proprietor hangs ribald portraits of world leaders or famous personalities that he paints himself in a studio beneath the bar, and the subjects are usually depicted in the nude. After a few rounds, maybe staring at playfully camp nude portraits of famous 20th century leaders will seem less unnerving.
Some neighborhood bars run back several generations, remaining in the hands of single families for decades. Whether your preferred watering hole is a longstanding institution or a new favorite, these lively halls echo with the raucous laughter of a town filled with folks who know the value of celebrating a hard day’s work with a stiff drink. The Berghoff has been home to many toasts throughout its existence stretching back more than eighty years in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Chicago bars - Lost Lake & AceBounce
New places are coming on the scene with steady improvements and pushing the bar for what it means to be a craft cocktail and craft beer drinking town. Lost Lake, since arriving in early 2015, has elevated the novelty behind the tiki bar genre and infused local flavors whenever possible into eclectic offerings. And AceBounce, with its 17 ping pong tables and robust craft beer offerings, moves the ping pong offering front and center to give visitors a new party experience in the heart of Chicago’s nightlife district.