emerge077 (129) RIP Johnnies, Chicago, Illinois | September 13, 2013
64 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 5/10 VALUE 4/10 OVERALL 14/20
2011: On the main drag, waterparks and motels as far as the eye can see. Accessible via back road (Hiawatha) from the Lake Delton area if you want to avoid traffic on the main roads.
The building is a former Houlihanís, and it projects that upscale yet generic chain "pub & grill" vibe. Checkered tile floors, dark wood crown molding, faux stained glass lamps, wooden booths, etc. Long rectangular bar is immediately to the right, with a maitre dí stand front and center. Down a couple steps into the dining area, you can see placards on the walls detailing the beer selection. The restaurant itself was spotless, itís only been open a month or so.
Servers werenít all that beer knowledgeable, probably just seasonal summer help. "Weíre out of the Black IPA, but we have IPA2, those are the same thing right?" "Whatís the seasonal? I donít know, weíve only been open a month." Lol. It was the middle of the afternoon, but it was a little slow getting samplers to our table. Food came out pretty quickly. Pretzels were super salted and buttery, with 3 sauces for $7. Menu seemed to be trying to be all things to all people, German, Asian, Italian, American.
Beer selection was limited to Sprecher and Chameleon beers, with some of their seasonals. Nothing pub exclusive or anything. The Chameleon beers werenít branded as such, at first I thought they were pub exclusives, but realized they werenít after checking BA. Standards: Black Bavarian, Pub Ale, Hefe, Amber, Reserve beers: Abbey Triple and Belgian Dubbel, IPA2. No Black IPA or Kriek, which we were hoping to possibly try on tap. Didnít see a bottle list... that would be a simple way to have all of Sprecherís beers available. Full line of craft sodas for the kids. Growlers were $16 and up, and they donít fill outside ones.
Overall it fit right in with the Dells, but a slightly better than average beer selection most other bars besides Monkís and Moosejaw, if you dig Sprecher beers.
jmagnus87 (85) Rockford, Illinois | September 3, 2012
90 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 17/20
Nice place. Pretty packed although it was sunday of labor day weekend. Sat at the bar while waiting for our table and the bartender was right there explaining how the place works (most of my family had never been to a brewpub) and giving them all good commercial examples of what their beers could be compared to (do you like Johnny Walker scotch? Try our scotch ale, itís like a watered down version of that with a little more malt sweetness) Pretty good selection, most of the year round stuff and a couple seasonals. They also had some stuff from Chameleon brewing on tap and a huge selection of soda for the kiddies. Food was great. We shared some nachos (just ok) and cheese curds then I got the BBQ burger. All the burgers were absolutely great and the sweet potato fries kicked some ass. Very reasonably priced, considering it was in the dells. 12 beers, 5 entrees and 2 starters for about $115. Overall, great. I would go back anytime.
JMerritt (72) Macomb, Illinois | December 5, 2011
68 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 13/20
My first time at a Sprecherís location. I think this is pretty new to the Dells, and Iím fairly certain it used to be Houlihanís. Itís right next to the Tommy Bartlett ski show location. Since I visited in the winter, parking was not an issue and the place was empty, but I can imagine parking being a chore in the summer. They had a fairly large craft beer menu - about 12 of the Sprecherís standards and 3 or 4 seasonal/specials. A large pub grub menu was reasonably priced for the Dells. I had the fried calamari and the portion size was rather large and the food was prepared to my liking. Everyone else in my party liked the place, though the particular beer I tried was sub-par, Iíd visit again to check out their seasonal selections. It is a nice alternative option to Moosejaw for decent beer in the tourist trap that is the Dells. When Iím in town, Iíll plan on hitting both.