Midwestern men, with their guts made of Old Style and square-framed glasses, remind you that behind all the trappings of glamour, Chicago really is the world's largest small town. These mellow dudes sit at Cody's Public House drinking Schlitz and pondering the Bears' new recruit; they're exactly who I want to spend a Monday afternoon with.
Scuffed floorboards reveal the age of this 100-year-old tavern. Initials joined with hearts and curse words that would make Holden Caulfield nervous are etched into its wooden walls. A side room lures game enthusiasts with its dart boards and Golden-Tee. In the main room, pool sharks circle a hefty illuminated pool table, and TVs tacked to the maroon walls endlessly play one variation after another of "the game." Trophies proudly sit on display behind the long bar, while bartenders dole out bar snacks and serve Pabst Blue Ribbon, Hamm's and Old Style for less than $2.50.
If you crave something heftier than pretzels and cheese, step out to the beer garden. Provided you bring your own meat, you can grill to your heart's content. Ancient trees loom overhead, vines wrap around the fence and white metallic patio chairs give the patio a sense of grace. Leashed pups bark at bad bocce ball tosses as they fall outside the regulation-size court, and frat boys jeer at each other as they play darts. If you're lucky, one of the old-timers from the bar will sit next to you and talk about the weather.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maude Standish