emerge077 (129) RIP Johnnies, Chicago, Illinois | October 15, 2013
76 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
Although iíve been here a dozen times, each time I was conflicted about adding it here. With roughly 20 beers, it didnít quite seem beer focused enough, or a real destination for beer...itís primarily a restaurant (as seen on Check Please).
After looking over their current beer list, it was clear that they were focused on local breweries and craft beer, without a macro in the bunch. For Wrigleyville, this is a unique location in terms of selection and quality. Draft prices tend to be $5-7, and the priciest bottle was Flossmoor IPA for $18, Sofie was $15.
Food prices range from $6 for small plates to $20ish for entrees. I had a burger special that incorporated heirloom tomato, pork belly, and raw white cheddar on a brioche bun for $16, a bit pricey but worth it. The food is organic and locally sourced in many cases (which accounts for some high prices), with many creative seasonal specials (that also applies to their drink menu...Oberon beermosa or Jalapeno limeade anyone)?
The atmosphere is top notch, sort of an upscale coffeehouse bar/restaurant, with two main dining areas plus a back room and a seasonal patio. Local art adorns the walls, worn in wood floors, with a fireplace in the front. The wedge shaped bar seats maybe 20, and thereís a tv or two above the bar. Cool lanterns glow above the bar area, they look to be custom made from handmade paper/textiles. The crowd tends to be well-to-do locals, pretty much the opposite of rowdy Cubs fans. Local music performances and art openings happen here, so check the calendar before you go.
Service is laid back, bar service is generally prompt and friendly. Once I had some good beer conversation with the bartender, who was well versed in their upcoming seasonal rotation. The bar here is a good alternative to the rowdy mob scene a few blocks south. Recommended for the food, or a few drinks anytime. A repeat stop on my short list of good neighborhood spots...