Non-Dive Dive Bars
Old Town Pour House
Old Town Pour House has all the offerings of a tavern: A nice long bar framed by multiple mounted flat screen TVs, high top tables, and comfort food dishes like mustard pretzel bites and baked truffle mac & cheese. But, it steps it up a notch with a list of 90 beers on tap that has the refined palates of ale, stout, and cider enthusiasts packing the joint nightly. A few brew-phobics in the crew? Order from the eight wines on tap or specialty cocktails. And, skip the full face of makeup for the soft sheen of Benefit’s new lip and cheek color, perfect to match Dana Rebecca’s delicate ring on your pinkie.
Old Town Pour House, 1419 North Wells Street (between Schiller Street and North Avenue); 312-477-2800.
Judging by the number of Notre Dame T-shirts stuffed into booths at our last visit, we were ready to save The Kerryman for when our team is playing the Fighting Irish. But, as it turns out, the menu is more bistro burger than sports bar wings, and the fact that Skinnygirl Cocktails are on the Bloody Mary & Champagne Cocktail menu... well, it keeps us coming back.
The Kerryman, 661 North Clark Street (at Erie Street); 312-335-8121.
Don’t be fooled by the number of sleeve tattoos in this dark bar — it’s not just for hipsters or those who feel most at home riding a Harley. Yes, Little Italy’s “neighborhood joint” has quickly become a city-wide favorite. With chef Matt Troost cooking seasonal dishes (including the best cheeseburger in town, period), an extensive craft beer menu, and the Stones playing in the background, leave your stilettos at home for something a little more comfortable.
Three Aces, 1321 West Taylor Street (between Ada and Loomis streets); 312-243-1577.
Stout Barrel House & Gallery
Ever since Stout opened in River North this past summer, Manor — the glossy nightclub formerly occupying the space — is all but a distant memory. The new modern pub serves tasty American fare with a twist on a late-night menu until 3 a.m., and plenty of cocktails, to boot.
Stout Barrel House & Gallery, 642 North Clark Street (between Erie and Ontario streets); 312-475-1390.
From the guys who brought us DMK Burger Bar and Fish Bar, Michael Kornick and David Morton’s intimate lounge Ada Street may be a little off the beaten path (and you might just miss the tiny entrance if you’re not looking), but after entering the dark, candlelit corridor, expect to be pleasantly surprised by the sophisticated cocktails and savory dishes like crispy black-eyed peas. You might just be in for more than what’s on the menu at this sweet, romantic spot.
Ada St., 1664 North Ada Street (between Wabansia Avenue and Concord Place); 773-697-7069.
Aldo Orawin Ankle Boot, $150, available at Aldo; Topshop Snake Collarless Biker Jacket, $110, available at Topshop; Vince Drape Neck Blouse, $265, available at Intermix; Anya Hindmarch Valorie Glitter Clutch, $550, available at Scoop NYC; Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny Jean, $198, available at Zoe.
Photo: Courtesy of Old Town Pour House