Fountainhead | Chicago, Illinois
Places > United States > Illinois > Chicago

Excellent based on 16 ratings
Type: Bar

1970 West Montrose Avenue
Chicago, Illinois United States 60618 [ print map ]
773 697 8204 | facebook | twitter

Hours: Mo-Th: 4p-2a, Fr: 3p-2a, Sa: 12p-3a, Su: 12p-2a

Mayor: dinkle50 (2) | Taps: 28 | Bottles: 100+


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Beer Available At Fountainhead (arranged by most recent)
Dark Horse Flat Sammich , Two Brothers Testudo , Begyle Comb The Desert , Greenbush Terminator X , Greenbush Chai Life , Solemn Oath Cabernet Franc Barrel Aged Anaphylaxis , Solemn Oath Bourbon Barrel Aged Anaphylaxsis , Dark Horse Sarsaparilla 666 Bourbon Barrel Root Beer Stout 81, Haymarket Barrel Aged Rosemaryís Red Devil , Haymarket Rosemaryís Red Devil , Perennial Heart of Gold 90, Petrus Aged Red 78, Solemn Oath Kidnapped By Vikings 89, Against the Grain Booby Trap 82, Perennial Aria 81, Brewery Vivant Big Red Coq 92, Lost Abbey Devotion 94, Greenbush Loudmouth Soup 46, Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Bourbon Barrels 99
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16 reviews for Fountainhead
 Ambiance  82%
 Service  78%
 Selection  85%
 Food  72%
 Value  70%
 Overall  80%
 Rating  88%
Rating Distribution

  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 16/20
t0rin0  (1180) Do Not Resuscitate, California | August 13, 2013
Visited August 2012.

Was staying with a friend after GTMW and had a few days to spend in the city so I went north and hit up this place and Bad Apple. The tap list was pretty good here featuring a lot of locally made beers but also some more regionally distributed stuff like Bells. I ordered a couple of local beers that I hadnít tried before and talked to the bartender about the new places opening up. Ambiance was nice but it was also not all that exciting. If I had some business here I might stop in more often but I donít see this as a regular destination for me.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 6/10   SELECTION 15/15   FOOD 6/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 16/20
fluffheady  (95) Chicago, Illinois | April 9, 2013| Updated April 14, 2014
A really cool place that is finding its way. The beer list and events are great. The patio upstairs is one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever seen. It is an instant establishment. However, sometimes it feels like the place isnít quite right. Donít get me wrong, if you are visiting Chicago you absolutely need to visit this neighborhood and stop here, Half Acre Taproom, and Bad Apple. The chefs have changed here a few times, but I think they finally hit with Cleetus. Besides the food, this bar has always been a little bit of an awkward juxtaposition between being a bar and being a restaurant. P.S. If you like this place, check out itís "older brother" bar, "the Bar on Buena". All the good, but much smaller and neighborhoody.
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 14/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 17/20
dinkle50  (73) Chicago, Illinois | May 27, 2012
One of the best bars in Chicago. A ton of bottles and tap selections, as well as cask options too. Bartenders are knowledgable. Food is great too. The only downside is that some of the stranger bottles, they never seem to have in stock. Why they donít take them off the menu is surprising.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 6/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 12/20
KickInChalice  (20) Chicago, Illinois | February 17, 2012
When it first opened, Fountainhead quickly jumped up to the top spot on my list of beer destinations in the city. Great food, a creative and ever-changing beer list, good beer prices, quiet atmosphere, and I even became friends with some of the servers. Some of the events that they hosted were inventive and interesting, providing yet another reason to come in. Lately, though, most of what I liked about it has fallen off. The word has gotten out about Fountainhead, and now even during the week it can be a struggle to get a table. This, of course, is not something they should look to change, as the goal of the business is to be as popular and make as much money as possible. From my perspective, though, I liked having a quiet retreat with a stellar beer list, and the quiet retreat part of that went away. The real difference has been with the beer list, events, and pricing. While they seemed to get beers no one else was getting for a time, the other top notch beer bars in Chicago have caught up. At the same time, Fountainhead has slowly raised their prices from "wow, thatís a pretty good price" level to "hmm, all these beers seem like they are $1 more than they should be" level. They also have not really changed their menu in a while, and it seems like they are turning over kitchen and waitstaff frequently. With the different changes that, from my perspective, all seem to be for the negative, Fountainhead just doesnít have the draw it used to.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
Newk  (32) , | January 15, 2012
There is a very laid back feel to fountainhead. It may have been influenced by it being mid-day on a sunday, but thatís just how it was. There was a modernish feel to it, but it was far from sparse while also having the more comforting feel to it. The service was pretty good. There was only 1 bartender and all of the bar stools filled, but it wasnít hard to get a beer at all. The bartender was also on point with the food (which was very good. The beignets were great and the grits were very good as well) The location is very easy to get to and the neighborhood is excellent.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE N/A   OVERALL 16/20
msante79  (341) Mount Prospect, Illinois | October 24, 2011
Stopped in for some dinner with my wife. Nice corner bar/restaurant. Lots of wood and nice and relaxed atmosphere. Nice list of taps and seasonal brews. Food was expensive but decent. Monkey bread was good, scallops were good but goat cheese cucumber puree was disappointing. My wife had the korean style chicken sandwich which was forgettable. Not too packed on a Friday night. Nice place that I would go back for drinks, but probably not dinner.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
drdisque  (39) Illinois | September 26, 2011
In an older chicago bar space - bar is somewhat small and some tables are in poor locations that are easily bumped. They have a cool room behind the bar, but Iíve never sat there. Service tends to be good. Usually a wait to get a table on a friday or saturday night and because of the small bar, that isnít much of an alternative. Beer list usually has some good stuff, but again, nothing super-special usually. IMHO tends to be to lean to heavily towards malty beers. Have/had a beer engine but had nothing on it last time I went. Food is good but menu is extremely limited and that limits the placeís repeat value to me. Beer prices are good - one of the few places in the city to offer a craft beer for $5 and generally all drafts are under $10 and poured generously.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 10/10   SELECTION 14/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 18/20
cratez  (185) Toronto, Ontario | August 15, 2011| Updated February 10, 2014
Stopped by with my girlfriend during a recent trip to Chicago. VIBE: as soon as we pulled up we were intrigued by the beautiful outdoor facade. Interior resembles a comfortable, rustic, and old-fashioned restaurant with a clean and refined edge. A large display of bourbons, Scottish whiskies, and spirits towers over the bar. Patrons are a chatty and diverse bunch and everybody was enjoying themselves on our visit. A really nice, approachable atmosphere. SERVICE: our server was incredibly friendly. He helped us along with beer and wine recommendations, talked at length about some of the rarer bottles, and poured me a generous shot of Lagavulin when I ordered a 2008 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale that was aged in barrels of that whisky. Very welcoming and attentive service, which we appreciated. SELECTION: I had a Half Acre Gossamer and Three Floyds Zombie Dust (!!!) on draught and the aforementioned barley wine out of the bottle. My girl enjoyed her pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. Also noticed Summit EPA on cask, Southampton Cuvee Des Fleurs and Lost Abbey Inferno in bottles, and Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, La Trappe Witte, Petrus Aged Pale, and Pauwel Kwak on tap. The beer list seems smaller than the menus at Map Room and Jerryís, but itís still exceptionally well-rounded. OVERALL: we had a memorable experience here and itíll be a priority destination for us when we come back to the city. The final kicker was the free copies of Draft magazine ($6 value) as we exited the bar. Fountainhead is a quintessential American beer bar, which makes the meaning behind its name (principal source) all the more appropriate. A must-visit in my books.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 5/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD 2/10   VALUE 5/10   OVERALL 10/20
jrallen34  (377) Chicago, Illinois | July 30, 2011
Finally made it to this much hyped place... came in a sleepy Saturday afternoon... ambiance so was OK, nice and clean, but a touch boring... about 20 drafts and probably 100 bottles, most of the stuff was widely available at binnys or other bars, was hoping they actually had some good stuff... they had a special beer section, but Iím not sure if special describes it... solid stuff, just not a destination place by any means, if youíre a 2 min walk, ok, but otherwise go a couple blocks further to half acre and bad apple... food looks ok, lots of things sound good, had the bacon nuts and was so disappointed I didnít get more
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 10/10   SELECTION 13/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 9/10   OVERALL 17/20
maneliquor  (139) Perth, Australia | April 27, 2011| Updated July 23, 2013
Met a fellow there to do a trade on my visit to Chicago. Shared some beers and had some very good stuff. Was pretty cheap and stayed there for ages. Selection is awesome. Went back for their 1st anniversary and had an awesome time. A huge amount of beer was consumed and I still didnít get to try everything I wanted. Even managed to pick up a 2008 KBS. Great place

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