Don't come to the former digs of the Borderline Tap expecting to slosh beer around and high-five your drunken friends. The plainly named Wicker Park Tavern has remade the space into a classy spot more suitable for sipping than slamming. And while its upscale, quasi-yuppie vibe doesn't necessarily jibe with the rest of the neighborhood, the tavern's mellow-yellow atmosphere will definitely suit your drinking needs.
The latticed amber-lit panels, candle-topped tables and leather couches provide a loungey ambience that will give you the urge to wipe your feet before you step onto the hardwood floor. The eight plasma screen televisions keep patrons informed of the latest developments in sports (though you might want to brush up on your lip-reading skills; the music from the satellite jukebox is pretty loud). Should you find yourself craving essential bar snacks, grab some peanuts from the barrel near the entrance.
The drink prices are standard ($4 for a beer, $4-$8 for a cocktail), and there are plenty of spirits behind the bar, meaning that cocktail you want served up and with a twist is yours. Its wee-hours closing time makes it one to remember when that other Wicker Park bar you're at stops serving the martoonis.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jon Graef