Cheers to Chicago’s New(ish) Bars

July 14, 2011 6:00 AM

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Six years ago I moved to the city. My cousin Carol moved here at the same time, and we ventured out together every Friday night to a restaurant we’d never been to before. At the time, that included pretty much every one in the city. Bellies full and cocktails in hand, we sat and laughed, enjoying the experience of trying something new. Sadly, Carol has since left Chicago, but my desire to scope out different locales still rings true. I’ve made it a habit to continue my city search, whether the menu serves up food or drinks. Here are five of the latest bars to check out.

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(credit: Vintage 338)

Vintage 338

338 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 525-0521
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 4pm-1am
Fri-Sat 4pm-2am

Located at Armitage/Orleans, the contemporary wine bar serves glasses from Spain, France and Italy. Couple your drink with small bites like olive tapenade and a brie trio. The vibe is welcoming and neighborhood-inspired. Also enjoy patio seating in the warmer months and $2 off beer bottles on Thursdays.

pub Cheers to Chicago’s New(ish) Bars

(credit: Public House)

Public House

400 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 265-1240
Hours: Mon-Fri, Sun 11:30am-2am
Sat 11:30am-3am

Public House is a prime after-work bar. Located in River North, this is the bar where I fell in love with Hoegaarden. The beer selection (103 kinds) is so vast I was inspired to expand beyond my usual Bud Light tendency. Grab an open-air table along the corner of State/Kinzie, or one of the pub’s booths with self-serve beer taps built right into the tables.

cross Cheers to Chicago’s New(ish) Bars

(credit: Crossing Tavern)


2548 N Southport Ave

Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 327-4900
Hours: Monday-Friday 5PM–2AM
Saturday 11AM-3AM
Sunday 11AM-2AM

Find yourself at this Southport/Wrightwood bar indoors or on the outdoor beer garden. The sports bar dishes comfort fare like mini pulled-pork sandwiches or buffalo rolls. Swing by on Mondays for $5 glasses of wine and $5 salads.

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(credit: Rudy’s Bar & Grille)

Rudy’s Bar & Grille

69 East Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60603-3001
(312) 332-8111
Hours: Weekdays 11am-2am
Sat 11am-3am
Sun 11am-12am

Dare I introduce this bar as the one with the “Famous burger challenge”? Well, if you’re not interested in the 5-pound-too-many-topping skillet burger, grab a $3 bottle on Mondays or half-priced wine on Thursday. The bar exudes a fun, historic feel – photos and Chicago memorabilia line the walls.

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714 W Diversey Parkway

Chicago, IL 60614
Hours: 11am-11pm

I can’t resist a good margarita and dish of guacamole. Barrio is an urban taqueria with an expansive drink list. Specialties are the peach and red sangria and margaritas made with fresh lime juice. Mexican recipes include tacos filled with baked chicken, beer-battered fish, and veggies. Stop in for just a drink or a great dinner.

Jenny Schooley is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She currently works in publishing for an academic organization.

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