emerge077 (103) RIP Johnnies, Chicago, Illinois | July 31, 2013
70 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD 6/10 VALUE 9/10 OVERALL 15/20
40 taps at this newly remodeled pizzeria right off the Kedzie brown line, next door to the (somewhat disreputable and gougey) Foremost Liquors.
Nondescript corner location, vestibule door and enclosed side patio rolldown doors, brick façade with a cool old pizzeria sign hanging over the sidewalk. Glad they kept that particular piece of the place. Inside the place is all new, dark wood floors that extend up and panel the wall. Fairly small place with a dozen seats at the bar and another dozen tables.
Selection here was surprising for a random corner pizzeria. 40 taps were just under 2/3 craft, with some new local gems like 18th St./Pipeworks Brotherhood, Lake Effect Fresh Coast, Revolution Anti-Hero & Eugene, Metropolitan Krankshaft, and Finch’s. Plus quality regional taps like Greenbush Anger, Bells 2 Hearted, Vivant Farm Hand. Other US craft taps round it out, SN Celebration, Deschutes Chain Breaker, NH Dragons Milk, Hinterland, Grand Teton Sweetgrass, Lakefront Fixed Gear, and 2 Left Hand nitro taps. List is broken out by style and they do offer free samples of the drafts. Pints were $4.50. I asked about Rev beers and they pulled out the new A Little Crazy cans.
Out of 100+ beers, there’s alot of filler here, but a decent amount of gems. Hope they hone their selection more to the seasonal/rotating craft spectrum, meanwhile there’s lots of potential here.
Service at the bar was friendly and chatty, they said the neighborhood has been pretty receptive to the beer selection. Pizza came out in ten or so minutes after it was ordered.
There aren’t a whole lot of beer spots in Albany Park, let alone places with 40 drafts. Hope they can keep up the rotation and freshness on that many tap lines, time will tell. The pizza is pretty good, standard tavern style, thin crust is a bit thicker than usual but still crispy.
4/13: Still holding out hope, although taps seemed largely the same since 2 months ago, save for different Lake Effect beers, and the Brotherhood keg had kicked. Drew from 18th Street mentioned sending over a new keg, which I hope gets tapped soon.