At this two-room watering hole, music from a laptop wired into the PA system or the jukebox bounces off walls covered in pool tournament plaques and t-shirts promoting neighborhood sports teams. A dressed-down crowd sits at the bar, bottles of Miller Lites and Hacher Pschorrs ($6) in hand. Scruffy, middle-aged men in untucked polo shirts mingle with artsy neighborhood locals and a crew of Cubs fans enjoying a game on one of the three televisions. At any given moment, one of these folks will call out to the bartender by her name, asking for a second or third round. She'll yell something snappy back, a coy smile playing on her lips as she doles out bottles of beer or mixes up vodka drinks.
Saturday night's karaoke crowds can calm their jittery nerves with $6 Bud Light pitchers. They'll have to share the coveted spotlight with a pool table in the back room, but any rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" should draw the attention of even the most earnest billiards player.
Centerstage Reviewer: Nola Akiwowo