The Jefferson Tap and Grille is a semi-upscale sports bar located in River West. It's a small space in a large building right where Jefferson Street dead-ends into the Metra tracks; if it weren't for the sign you'd think it was an architect's office.
Inside, the Tap is warm and welcoming. There's a pool table and TVs tuned to the ubiquitous SportsCenter or whatever's on. Six draughts and ten bottles anchor the bar; if you're a beer snob, you're at the wrong place. Frankly, if you're any kind of snob you're in the wrong place. Food is the standard burgers-wings-fries bar fare, not cheap but not expensive. If you show up on a Friday or Saturday night, the upstairs Loft may be open; it's pretty much the same as the unpretentious downstairs, except they add dartboards to the mix.
That's the strength of the Tap; it's bustling but not packed, warm but not hyper, friendly without being aggressive. If it were located in Wrigleyville, it would be another in a long string of similar joints. But it's not, and River West could use a few more Jefferson Taps: a place to have beers with friends and not worry too much about what you're wearing.
Average cost: <$10