This place has two things in spades: character and a sense of history. Ceres, a through-and-through "Chicago bar," provides a merciful change from your typical one-in-every-city lounge. Don't expect boutique wines or fusion fare here; as one of its regulars notes, "You're dealing with traders here, real meat and potatoes Irishmen."
In other words, most of the brogue-boasting wait staff has been manning the joint for more than 30 years, many patrons have been swiggin' at Ceres for just as long, and trends don't come and go that quickly. But hey, why mess with a good thing?
Ceres' drinks (oft referred to as the "stiffest in town") ring in at unheard-of-for-downtown prices: Grab a domestic draft for $3 or opt for a $6 apple martini. If you're hungry, wait for Deliah (known as "mom" by most patrons) to offer you a free slice of pizza or check out the diner-style menu. Dishes cover the gamut from appetizers to char-broiled entrees and an extensive breakfast selection (think Denver omelets and steak and eggs) covers the back page. Regulars are happy to share menu faves, gloating that the giant steak burrito ($6.75) is "about the size of a football;" the roast beef-laden Trader's Favorite sandwich ($7.75) does indeed rank high on the list.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg