There is not a lot of great beer in the loop. I wouldn’t recommend this as a one and only stop in Chicago by any stretch but if you are downtown on business and want a nice beer w/o traveling, I would say this is one of you best bets. Over a dozen craft brews on tap--and only craft brews which is totally awesome--and good bottles to boot including the likes of Founders Breakfast Stout. This is not a place to pick up ticks but there are great beers here. It’s expensive but it’s the loop. If you’re in Chicago on business and need to take some folks out to a bar and don’t wanna travel, this is your joint as far as good beer is concerned.
If you go on Yelp! it seems like this may be the douchiest bar in Chicago. I didn’t get that impression at all, but I was there on a Tuesday night. As for the beer, it is pretty damn good for the loop area, but nothing special for the rest of Chicago. I’d happily revisit this place. The bartender was friendly, though overrun by tourists doing weekday Malibu shots, so she wasn’t as attentive as should most likely would have been otherwise (I’ll happily give her the benefit of the doubt). I can see the issues with this place, but I’ll take their draft/bottle/can lists over most anything else inside the loop.
Finally had a chance to stop in here earlier in the spring. I will say that they usually have one or two interesting beers on tap but beyond that, it’s a pretty watered down selection. Didn’t try the food as we just stopped in for a beer. I forget that the type of people that haunt here exist as I’m never in the loop or river north on the weekends, totally not my crowd. Also, price inflation due to location.
June 2010: For some reason, they dropped Metropolitan and other smaller craft beers, in favor of bigger ones from the BMC distro...way to whore out your taps! They only brought Metro back after word got out via social media. Lame. ...
A hotel bar masquerading as The Publican Liteª...
The bar is on the ground floor, NE corner of State & Lake. Once inside, its on the left before you hit the elevators. Swanky, posh, metrosexual type of place. A little bit overly polished and trying hard. Lacking somewhat in terms of atmosphere. The lighting was weird, the room was dim but we had a bright halogen spotlight on our table, illuminating the floating dust in the air. Ultramodern and sterile, with contrasting "midwestern" design touches like brown leather chairs, wooden menu holders, and deer head art on the wall.
Beer, lets focus. A good selection, although it doesn’t seem designed to change or rotate seasonals. Strangely they had a couple contract brews from Atlanta on the menu "Numbers Ale" and Red Brick Ale" which they couldn’t tell me where they were made. Those beers are a waste of 2 tap lines guys.
Food: Dinner entrees are in the mid 20s. We had small plates and a couple drinks, the bill was over $50. Ribs were decent, though there are many superior options in Chicago to the paltry 1/2 baby back slab here for $13. Parmesan fries were good, and a good accompaniment to beer selections. To their credit, there were a few nice bottles, like Sofie and Breakfast Stout. Overall though, it felt inauthentic, and not much of a destination for beer. Worth checking it out if youre seeing a show at the Chicago Theater or Siskel Center though, or staying downtown. Try Hackneys/Villains/Clark St. Ale House for a more laid back & affordable place.
Nice, quiet beer bar connected to a hotel. Definitely an upscale type place. But a very respectable selection for no bigger than it is. A little pricey, but I gues that’s to be expected from the neighborhood its in.
Service was friendly enough, but very slow. The place wasn’t busy when I was there, so I can’t imagine what was going on. But I sat there with an empty class for 5 minutes or more before a bartender came back.
A nice enough selection, but don’t bother looking at their beer list online--either it’s not updated very often, or I just hit them on a rough day, but there were several things I’d been looking forward to they didn’t have. Although, in fairness, they’d been replaced by some other nice offerings.
Very nice little (20 seat) bar area in upscale restaurant within the Wit hotel. Great tap choices (Surly Furious, 2 of my favorite porters, 2 3 Floyds options) with a variety of quality beers. Super quiet for lunch but I expect it gets crowded in the evening. Bartender says they help choose the brews on tap, and I could have been there all day. My only complaint at all if I could go regularly would be that it is small.
High ceilings, leather-lined room in the Wit Hotel. Long polished bar with patrons who are substantially more well-bred than myself. Lots of big hair and small dresses (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I didn’t eat here, but the appetizers the women next to me were eating looked good. A very nice cocktail list too if you happen to be here with non-beer drinkers. The bartender and the bar manager were both very friendly and chatty, my completely down-scale attire notwithstanding. This isn’t really a beer bar per se, but in the downtown area, it’s not a bad place to pop in for a few pints.