Definitely a cool vibe. Dark and cozy. Well thought-out beer menu and the undisputed place to go if you want cask ales in Chicago. Service was great, but where this falls short is on food and value. Beer prices are reasonable, but food is expensive, mediocre, and small portioned. I had fish ’n chips, with two apps and left hungry. I’ll probably go back, but if the food’s not any better, I’ll probably be pissed off about the cost again.
English style pub with a bit of eccentric world flare in their menu. This is a world’class beer bar. Selection of beer is always on point, never anything shitty on except every once in awhile some shitty overpriced FFF sour. The food is some of the best in town and not too pricey. The burger is good. They give out lots of free shots of good bourbon. Nice rooftop biergarten, it has 2 bars so if downstairs is packed go upstairs. Service is usually impeccable. Prices are some of the best in Chicago beer wise especially often pricey brands like Pipeworks. Theres usualy 2-4 cask beers available as well.
Owen and Engine is located opposite a very busy cinema chain venue, which means that at any time it is fairly well packed out, often with families. For a pre-post movie option this is a great place to go. They have a solid rotating draft selection, which includes up to 4 cask ales. The initial theme was ’English Pub’ in the food, beer and decor. Whilst the decor remains the same the beer and food options have come slightly center of left, to include some more US-centric options, which isn’t a bad thing.
As an English ex-pat it can be nice to enjoy a Youngs Chocolate Stout or other such classic on tap every now and again.
So, we’ll start with the downside. Unless you make a reservation, you’re probably gonna be waiting for your table or bar seat. It’s also a rather crowded space. To their credit, they do a lot to try to get as many people comfortably in there as possible, but, as a side effect, it feels a bit cramped. It’s hard to say it’s actually a "value" but, at the same time, it’s not unreasonable. Alright, now that that’s out of the way ... Friendly staff, very knowledgeable about their food and their beers, and if your particular server doesn’t know the answer to your beer question, they’ll find someone who does - and there will be someone there who does. I was torn on the selection rating; it’s not a crazy huge beer menu, but it’s all uncommon and rare beers, plus they typically have three or four beers on cask. To add some frosting to this cake, the menu is really, really excellent. I’ve yet to order something off the menu that left me thinking anything less than "that was great"
This is a really great spot. It’s a little small, so sometimes wait times for a table or a bar spot can be a chore. We first went on a Tuesday, and they had a cool deal where if you bought the burger, you got a short beer and a shot for an extra dollar. The burger was great and the shot wasn’t bad. They also had Ichabod on cask, which is awesome. Their beer prices are great ($6 for most imperial pints). The food prices are a bit high, but I forgive it because of the cheaper beer and the high quality of the food. The bartenders are all-pros and have fascinating rhythm.
They also have one of the best cask programs in the city (four).
To the guy who was mad that they didn’t have English beer on the cask...you’ve gotta be kidding me. I don’t think you quite understand the distribution game. It’s definitely possible to get casks from overseas, but not regularly enough to fill 4 engines. I’m just very happy to have the opportunity to drink some of the best-attended fresh cask beer around. One last word of advice: be sitting at the bar at 10:23 (or thereabouts). The huge clock behind the bar broke 3 days after opening and was stuck on 10:23. If you’re sitting at the bar at that time, be prepared to participate in a communal round of shots!
pablo951 (112) Chicago, Illinois | June 29, 2013| Updated May 31, 2015
Great place for a micro / craft brew. They always have a strong list of beers 20 on tap and 4 on cask at all times. The food is gastro English pub style, sausage heavy, good but slow. Slightly pricey. They have now added an rooftop patio, it’s small but cute. It’s all about the beer.
Decided to check this place out for dinner with the wife. Nice english pub feel. 4 beer engines and about 20 or so taps. Menu is of the gastropub style with some nice items like scotch eggs which were delicious. Wife had the fish and chips and I had the bangers and mash which were house made and great.
Nice tap list and a couple nice options on the engine. Service was pretty good. Would go back.
Really excellent food and a huge draft and bottle list. The food is a little pricey, but it is also really good. The deck on the roof is very nice when the weather is ok. Inside there are 2 bars on 2 floors. The building feels very old, but it isn’t. Great spot to drink away an afternoon.
deyholla (660) Minneapolis, Minnesota | April 29, 2012| Updated September 16, 2012
Has a nice feel of an English pub. Food is of English fare and out of this world! A decent selection of beer with four on the engine. Best place to get a cask beer if that is your thing. Service was quite good. Prices are a touch pricey but well worth it IMO.