A peek into the wide-open windows fronting Jimmy Green’s is a like a view into the South Loop itself. From the street, one can spot older, well-heeled couples mixing at the bar next to a group of college kids.
Further in, laughter bursts from the tables of diverse groups of the Loop's post-5 p.m. crowd, not quite ready to head home just yet. Inside, it takes one quick glance around the place to realize the unifying bond between this varied ethnic and socioeconomic flock, and it becomes clear what has brought them all together in harmony: sports on a giant honkin' television.
This massively overwhelming sports delivery system gets more wall than Spiderman, coming in at over six feet long and three feet high. In case you still can't see it from your booth, some seating areas have televisions of their own. All in all, there are two dozen televisions at Jimmy Green's. Besides that one solid theme, the place is an explosion of modern design ideas. The whiskey-dark wood of the floor supports marble-topped tables resting under panes of shattered glass and multi-colored neon tubes.
Luckily, the menu keeps it together well enough. It's clear that care was put into choosing which brews get poured here. The list reads like a starter's guide to Good Beer 101, with a nice mix of local and Midwestern breweries featured. It's also nice to see unexpected surprises on offer, like Wells Banana Bread Ale. Fans of PBR have nothing to fear, however, as the bro-friendly brew is served in $4 tallboys. There's even a Jaeger machine for those wilder nights.
Most of the eats are under $15, and instead of going the traditional bar food route, Jimmy's lets you build your own burgers and pizzas. Throw together a calamari, spinach and garlic pizza, generously loaded with so much grilled seafood it could be protested by Greenpeace. Each build-your-own burger features interesting ingredients (pineapple and fried egg, anyone?) and comes with what Jimmy's specialty, parmesan and garlic waffle fries.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman