Shires are a breed of horses known for their large physique, strong body and long hair. The Shire, a Lakeview
bar, doesn't epitomize any of that. Instead, this small neighborhood bar is relaxed, care-free, friendly and unintimidating. Once called Tavern 33, the Shire is just your good old neighborhood hang-out where one can enjoy a night with friends or a one-man drink fest while watching college football.
The decor is of nothing out of the ordinary. Large window panes overlooking a busy Lincoln Avenue offer a sharp contrast to the old-fashioned, rustic tavern look offset by heavy brown furniture against white walls. Four flat-screen television screens hang above the main bar. And two dart boards and a projection screen for Wii games add some activity leisure for its patrons.
But when coming to a neighborhood bar, Wii and darts come secondary; which leads to the only large aspect of the Shire — its beer selection. When asked how many different bottles of beer they have, the bartender could only look like a deer in the headlights. "You know, I have no idea," he said. He then counted 60 different kinds of beer plus 13 on draft.
The beers include your typical domestic light beers, but if you happen to come across a bar with this type of a selection, why settle? Try a bottle or draft of the Chimay. Its $9 a goblet seems pricey, but with its 9 percent alcohol content, it may be the only beer you'll be having. For lighter flavors, the Witte ($6), a white Belgian, is also a good choice.
The Shire currently doesn't offer any food, but with a friendly atmosphere and large drink selection, it still epitomizes what a good neighborhood bar should be.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kimber Solana