United States > Illinois > Chicago
dinkle50 (77) Chicago, Illinois | May 27, 2012
86 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 17/20
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.
jhliesen (17) West Melbourne, Florida | June 21, 2014
78 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 15/20
As a party of four, we arrived on a Tuesday night, there was a short wait to get a table on the roof, so we had drinks at the bar. Downstairs has the wider beer selection, so having a drink before dinner was the best way to go. Lots of local and midwest beers available. The food was locally source and delish. We sat on the roof in June. Special note, there are awnings for the sun, which is appreciated by bald headed people like me! Service was a little better than ok and the prices are, well Chicago level.
Frank (55) Chicago, Illinois | May 11, 2014
74 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
This place is alright. If you look through some earlier reviews, it seems like it used to be more relaxed and less crowded but itís going on a full head of steam now so expect it to be pretty full at times when most people go to the bar. The tap selection is great. They seem to have a good mix of local, regional and import beer. It is not just all IPAs and big neckbeard bait either. They keep a good mix of stuff for anyone who appreciates beer. I was kinda bummed I went in spring in they didnít have a maibock on tap though, or a barleywine for that matter. There is also a rooftop patio w/ a seperate bar. Itís a nice place to sit on nice days but if you are going for the beer, the best selection is inside. Itís a nice place. Itís nowhere close to me but Iím glad I went up to check it out.
t0rin0 (1448) Do Not Resuscitate, California | August 13, 2013
78 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
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.
fluffheady (100) Chicago, Illinois | April 9, 2013| Updated April 14, 2014
82 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 16/20
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.
KickInChalice (20) Chicago, Illinois | February 17, 2012
70 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 12/20
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.
Newk (32) , | January 15, 2012
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 16/20
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.
msante79 (341) Mount Prospect, Illinois | October 24, 2011
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 16/20
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.
drdisque (43) Illinois | September 26, 2011
78 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 16/20
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.
cratez (234) Toronto, Ontario | August 15, 2011| Updated February 10, 2014
92 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 18/20
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.
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