Bars in Oak Park, Ill.
April 25, 2013 5:00 AM   Subscribe

Getting married in Oak Park, I'll., this weekend and I'm looking for recommendations for a bar that would be good for a small group of people to hang out in at night after the planned events are over.

We're staying near the Oak Park stop on the Green line, so it should be within walking distance from there. I'm fond of the bars in Brooklyn that are low key but still serve up a mean cocktail. Looking to avoid sports bars or bar and grill type places. Ideally there would be no TV. Does such a place exist?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oak Park doesn't have a history of bars since it was a 'dry' town until twenty years ago. The liquor licenses were not given to any place that did not also serve food until just recently. You won't find a nice old fashioned bar.
posted by readery at 8:07 AM on April 25, 2013

Note that the Green Line does not keep the same operating schedule as subways in NYC. If you are planning a late night, public transit is not the best option. While you may not have problem getting to where you are staying in Oak Park, others may have problems getting back to where they came from.
posted by lampshade at 8:50 AM on April 25, 2013

I grew up in the area, and I can't think of anything nearby that fits your bill re: cocktails or atmosphere. No TV is rough. Neighboring River Forest is walkable, and Yelp indicates a wine bar.
posted by quadrilaterals at 9:04 AM on April 25, 2013

Yeah, I can't think of a great option in Oak Park. The Green Line will take you closer to downtown, where you would have a lot more options. But given the fact that it doesn't run very late, you would have to take a cab back to your lodgings.
posted by anotheraccount at 9:36 AM on April 25, 2013

Best answer: It sounds like you are staying at the lovely Carleton. I believe there is a wine and cheese bar within the block—I don't know the name, but the Carleton staff could help.

Perhaps Winberries—it's more restaurant than bar, but it might work for you. Also, check the Write Inn. These 2 are located at the Oak Park stop, which is 1/2 mile before the Harlem stop.
posted by she's not there at 9:51 AM on April 25, 2013

Oops, should have read more closely—the Carleton and the wine/cheese bar are at the Harlem stop.
posted by she's not there at 9:59 AM on April 25, 2013

So I asked an Oak Park native, and she suggested winberries as well, and also Maya Del Sol.
posted by garlic at 8:24 AM on April 26, 2013

she's not there is refering to Marion Street Cheese Market which as the name implies is located on Marion st and contains a great multitude of cheese, and wine, and ok cocktails. It's about 5 minutes walk west - 7 small blocks from the Oak Park Green line stop. Open late, popular with the lady folks, pretty decent. Service can be less than attentive, but is likely the best overall fit for your needs.

Winberries closes too early to be of any use to you, I wouldn't include the Write Inn on your list of destinations. I would also skip the great bar zone known as downtown Forest Park - with the possible exception of Duck Fat, but generally the weekends in this area are over run with the wild youth of the western suburbs.

Maya Del Sol - haven't been so I don't know about their cocktails or late hours.

Here are three other locations I would take visitors to:
Lake street kitchen - once again creativly named, a kitchen located on Lake (and marion) - a block or so North of the cheese joint. The person behind this operation was involved with Avec, a fancy joint downtown for food so it is pretty sharp on the menu. Better service than the Marion cheese- cocktails are decent- but it has tv's in some areas.

Just across the street from the Marion Cheese is Poor Phils which will be packed on the weekend, because the locals love this place. They certainly don't love it for the cocktails - which are the poorest of the places I am suggesting, and NOT low key - but offered just in case you feel like changing your plans. Mainly because it has a nice outdoor area.

The best cocktails in the area that will be open late is 8 long blocks straight south - about 10 minute walk at kinderhook tap. The cocktails have silly names but there is genuine effort behind them it's a smaller venue so large groups might be difficult. It's one of those Gastropubs. There's tv's but its not a sports bar. Easily the best sushi in several states is located next door, perhaps most of this part of the planet.
posted by zenon at 1:02 PM on April 26, 2013

And congrats on getting married!
posted by zenon at 6:14 PM on April 26, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, all. We were actually staying at the Write Inn and while I don't recommend the hotel, the restaurant attached to it, called Hemingway's Bistro, was just the thing. They're not open late, only until 10 on weekdays and 11 on weekends, but definitely worth checking out. I wasn't able to look into most of the recommendations here, but I hope they are useful to others.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2013

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