Big clublike place...didn’t 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...
swoody (4) Wauconda, Illinois | September 23, 2010
I can proudly say I rank Durty Nellie’s as a ’meh’. 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 it’s 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 doesn’t 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 Nellie’s, 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 aren’t your thing. - Woody
I had passed by Durty Nellie’s 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 don’t pay cover to buy beer, so I was about leave. When the door guy realized that we didn’t 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 don’t 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 Dragon’s Milk is delicious.
The men’s 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 Emmett’s, 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 don’t charge me a cover.
Saw the band Bird At The End Of The Road play here many moons ago and drank maybe one beer... too high to drink, but cool place all the same.
Florida9 (6) Chicago , Illinois | February 23, 2012| Updated February 24, 2012
Durty Nellie’s 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 doesn’t 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 they’ve 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 doesn’t know anything about beer other than that the bartenders pour it and they’ll bring it to your table. If you know what you want, this isn’t a problem. If you don’t, you’re not going to get much help.
The food is mostly bar food. In general, the food isn’t very good, but the menu changes a couple times a year and there have been occasions when the food hasn’t 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 isn’t 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.
I’ve 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 Nellie’s 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 lady’s dinner to ask for a beer and I’ll 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, that’s the only thing missing.