I had passed by Durty Nellieís on several occasions, but I always avoided it because it looks loud and crowded.
When I discovered that they had a selection of great beers, I decided to ignore my distaste for the atmosphere and give it a shot.
After parking in the garage behind the bar and walking around to the front door, my first surprise was that they were charging a cover. I donít pay cover to buy beer, so I was about leave. When the door guy realized that we didnít even know there was a band playing, he was cool and let us in for beers.
It was crowded, loud and it felt disorganized. This made me tense, but checking out the chalkboard beer menu, I was happy that I made it in. Ordered some Stone IPA and a Troubadour and things were better.
I donít fully understand the layout of Durty Nellies. It appears to be multilevel and multi-room. This was fortunate because as we were enjoying our beers, someone came through a large metal door and there was a very loud band playing. We stayed out of there.
I think the band pulled some people from the initial bar room because it got a little less crowded. We decided to get a real table and some food. There was a lot of stuff on the menu. The pulled pork sandwich was tasty and the Albany chicken sandwich was spicy!
Of course we sampled more of the fantastic beer selection with our meal. New Holland Dragonís Milk is delicious.
The menís room is disgusting. (Hey, when you drink beer, you have to give some back eventually.)
Overall I am still turned off by the atmosphere. Maybe I am too old. The beer selection is impressive for the suburbs and the food was good. If only I could have the atmosphere of Emmettís, which is just down the street, mixed with the food and beer of Durty Nellies, then I would be happy.
I would return to this place, but I would have to be in the right mood, and only if they donít charge me a cover.
Iíve been here a few times specifically because of the above average selection of beer. The food is ok but the staff and service pretty much suck. The Good: Durty Nellieís has the best beers in the NW burbs. They keep their menu updated online which is really nice. I was able to buy a bottle of BCS Bramble Rye to go earlier this year and they recently had Zombie Dust on tap. Maybe a little pricey, but not unreasonable and I dont mind paying a little extra to get a premium selection. The Bad: on more than one occasion (and with different bartenders), I had to sit at the uncrowded bar waiting to get a beer while the bartender stood 10 feet away talking to a coworker and/or eating. One time I interrupted the young ladyís dinner to ask for a beer and Iíll be damned she finished her fucking sandwich before getting my pour. I always leave there pissed off but then enough time passes for me to forget just how much and then I go back. Note to the owner: hire better people, thatís the only thing missing.
One of the better choices for beer in the NW burbs. A little dark on the inside with small outdoor patio area also. probably about 30 taps and 80-100 bottles. A good mix of craft and foreign bottles and all styles represented. Some of offers were limited seasonals that donít last long in the bottle shops. Pricing varied with some bottle I found close to beer store prices and other marked up quite a bit. Draft pricing was mostly $5-7 for 12-16oz pours. Food was okay, decent selection of standard stuff. Service was the only thing missing - server waswnít knowledable, beer took way too long to get to the table and they couldnít locate a couple bottles that wew on the menu. As a plus they do update via beermenus.
Florida9 (6) Chicago , Illinois | February 23, 2012| Updated February 24, 2012
Durty Nellieís is two establishments in one. There is a music venue (stage and open area) in the back and then there is a restaurant with a bar in the front. The two are attached, but separate. Often times they will have bands playing at the music venue, but this doesnít affect your ability to go in and sit at the bar.
The bar itself has a wide selection of beers. There are some dedicated GI lines and they always seem to have the GI seasonal. Beers tend to focus on American craft, though some British, German, and Belgian beers do make appearances. On a recent visit they had DFH My Antonia, FFF Powder Burns, HA Daisy Cutter, Founders, Boulevard, and Rogue. All in all, the selection is pretty good and theyíve been known to get some quality one-offs here as well.
Service varies widely. There are a couple of bartenders who know beer, then there are a couple of bartenders that are familiar with the beers they have on tap but little else and then there is the majority of the wait staff whom doesnít know anything about beer other than that the bartenders pour it and theyíll bring it to your table. If you know what you want, this isnít a problem. If you donít, youíre not going to get much help.
The food is mostly bar food. In general, the food isnít very good, but the menu changes a couple times a year and there have been occasions when the food hasnít been all that bad. However, I used to go to DN on a regular basis and the sole reason I have stopped is that their food isnít worth it.
Atmosphere is typical for a bar-restaurant. DN is not upscale by any means, but it is also not a dive. They do have a nice patio area for the warmer months.
A nice place across the street from a Metra blue line stop (Palatine). We had the whole upstairs for a company function, and the food provided was finger foods. The food was not that appealing, with the chicken wings a bit fatty and undercooked (not raw though), and the quesadillas not much more than cheese and shells. The beer selection is fairly good, both tap and bottled. The upstairs patio is a nice place to sit and relax.
swoody (4) Wauconda, Illinois | September 23, 2010
I can proudly say I rank Durty Nellieís as a ímehí. I have been here several times - often to meet up friends, but not very often to try a selection of their beers. This is indeed not a very astonishing place on itís own. The atmosphere is equivalent to a college bar, and the clientele seems to match. If you go here on a weekend, please understand that any of the bars within the establishment will probably have a 10 minute wait to get a beer. There is nowhere to really sit in peace and enjoy a brew. If this doesnít bother you then you may find a few good brews on the menu here. They do offer a decent selection for the suburbs, but in my honest opinion it is only better than other local offerings. My advice would be to skip Durty Nellieís, get on the train nearby, and go downtown to one of the great brew-bars in Chicago. You will have a *much* better time if packed college bars arenít your thing. - Woody
Big, clubby place with lots of trixies. Beer list is awesome, but sometimes they donít have everything on the list. I still got Surly Furious here, which was fucking awesome. Food is ok, but the service was mediocre when I was there. Food was ok.
Big clublike place...didnít eat...no one really knew shit about beer, but they had a pretty good list...especially in this part of town...started getting packed around 9pm on a weekend for the live band at the venue...
Holy Cow! This might very well be the best hidden gem in the Chicago area, only 5 ratings, rarely mentioned after the big 3 downtown beer bars. Beer selection on tap and in bottles was incredible. Food was astoundingly good (excellent Carolina pulled pork sandwich, fries stellar too), always a plus. Service was friendly and timely, but not with super-beer knowledgeable wizards (including the bar tender). Oh well, canít have everything. Environment was clean, slightly upscale. This was a great stop w/o the downtown commute on a freezing cold night. I highly recommend this if youíre in the area but not downtown.