The neon "Stop and Drink Liquor" sign on Clark is like a thirsty beer traveler's "vacancy" sign. Heed its call, and you'll be swallowed up in the dark, woody lair confines of one of Chicago's great beer pubs. The ornate back bar, muraled walls, high ceilings and dim light recall a time when ward bosses like Michael "Hinky Dink" Kenna ran rooming houses, trading barrel-drawn spirits for votes. Or while away the warm weather days in the huge beer garden during the summer.
Clark St. serves everything from local brews Goose Island and Three Floyds to Midwestern favorites like a cask-conditioned Two Hearted Ale from Bell's brewery in Kalamazoo. If you're confused by the bevy of choices, sample a flight of small pours from the tap for three bucks. Beer is served in proper glassware, from tulips and goblets for Belgian-style ales to pint glasses for light, bubbly lagers.
For those who prefer grassy, single malts over hopped barley, there are over 40 scotches, and many bourbons, cognacs, and tequilas from which to choose.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant