The outside isn't too promising: graffiti, bricks and a dirty sign advertising Leinenkugel on tap. Once inside, though, you'll be sucked in by the friendly staff and ready-to-chat locals. The recently remodeled long and narrow space is made homey with paintings on the wall, comfy booths up front and candlelit tables in back. Light green walls create a chilled-out vibe, and tiled floors have a quaint, local-pub effect. The long bar (to your right as you enter) proffers drink specials that will make you vow to never again shell out $5 for a Corona. Tuesday nights offer up $2 pints of Blue Moon and Miller Lite pitchers ring in at $5 on Monday nights. Then again, coming to this joint for the drinks would be like going to the Art Institute for a cappuccino.
Gallery Cabaret is all about the live music, which is varied in content but steady in quality. Sunday and Thursday are open mic nights, Tuesday features a blues jam, songwriters play on Wednesday, and local bands rule the stage all weekend. Liz Phair and the Smashing Pumpkins cut their teeth here, so you may be in the right spot to witness some legends in the making.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg