emerge077 (129) RIP Johnnies, Chicago, Illinois | March 12, 2014
46 AMBIANCE 1/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 1/10 OVERALL 6/20
Primebar reeks of utter sterile mediocrity.
The place had a forced, affected vibe of pretentiousness and felt like a cross between an airport lounge, hotel bar, and upscale corporate chain (which it is). Need to impress clients at a power lunch? Got an escort to entertain?
Primebar is the place.
The piped in muzak here was terrible. Michael Bolton? Freeze Frame? Wanted to leave the moment after walking in the door, but we needed to warm up and get a beer on the way over to Monk’s by way of the Franklin Tap.
Revolving door, loungey couches up front, dim lighting, repetitive framed photos of heavily mascaraed eyes and drinking flirty women on the walls... okaaay. Mosaic-tiled pillars behind the long U-shaped bar, leather & brass tacked bar seats, a cluster of modern lamps hung over the dining area. Crowd was rather douchey. Most were drinking wine and cocktails, got snooty looks at the bar after ordering a round of Founders Porter (thanks Chris).
Beer list was in a narrow leather-bound menu holder, it looked more like a cocktail list. Beers were listed by brewery and neatly organized, though there were no prices listed, which seems common downtown. There were a few errors such as "Troubadour Belgian IPA" from the "Magma Brewery". Selection was ok, basics from staple Midwest breweries like Metropolitan, Goose, Founders, Three Floyds, but nothing more than 2-3 from their standard lineup, no seasonals. There was no bottle list, but the bartender listed off 6-8 bottles that were fairly random (a couple Rogue, Sofie, and Lost Abbey Inferno oddly enough).
Plenty of better options in the Loop: Monk’s, Miller’s, Villains, Hackney’s, Gage, etc.
kseecs16 (201) Naperville, Illinois | June 18, 2012
62 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 5/10 OVERALL 11/20
Primebar has a good selection of beers a block from my office, so for that I end up there quite a bit for happy hours and after work drinks. Ambiance is corporate expense check restaurant. The pictures on the walls are inexplicable. Prices are high and service can be spotty. But you can’t argue with the large # of taps and available bottles for this location. They have a special on large format bottles one day a week, which is worthwhile.