Where everybody knows your name?
September 24, 2007 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a nice, quiet pub in Chicago-- lots of dark wood, no blaring music, minimal ESPN-stuck TVs. Someplace good to go for a few pints and actual conversation. Northwest side preferable, Irving Park-area if possible, although I'm not too picky about that.
posted by shakespeherian to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
(Bucktown) It may be a bit louder than you like but it is mostly due to conversation: The Map Room.
posted by true at 5:57 PM on September 24, 2007

Ten Cat Tavern on Irving Park just south of Ashland.
posted by smich at 6:06 PM on September 24, 2007

Simons. The Long Room. Edgewater Lounge.
posted by rbs at 6:28 PM on September 24, 2007

It's been a few years now since I lived in Chicago, but check out the Hopleaf. It's a great bar, though a little north of your area (it's up closer to Clark & Foster).
posted by rdn at 6:36 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sadly, Hopleaf has expanded and Andersonville has exploded. The trappist ales are still great, but it's absolutely packed.

Absolutely seconding the Ten Cat. It's been my regular haunt when I first game to Chicago nearly... oh my god. Eighteen years ago. I can't believe I'm that old. I think I need a drink.
posted by centerweight at 6:47 PM on September 24, 2007

I agree with centerweight completely re Hopleaf—it's too busy. But Simon's just a couple doors north of Hopleaf is indeed a treasure.
posted by smich at 6:49 PM on September 24, 2007

Hungry Brain at Belmont and Western.
posted by HeroZero at 6:52 PM on September 24, 2007

Ten Cat and Hungry Brain, absolutely. You may also want to check out Guthrie's Tavern on Addison or the Happy Village beer garden in Ukranian Village if the weather's nice (beer garden isn't really a good descriptor -- it's more like your favorite uncle's backyard).
posted by awegz at 7:16 PM on September 24, 2007

The Silver Cloud in Wicker Park has always been my go-to "hang out and chat" place.
posted by Oktober at 8:23 PM on September 24, 2007

Hopleaf has been insane for several years now since the pub was featured on Check Please... Its still okay to duck in there with a friend or two on a week day afternoon, but any other time it is noisy, crowded, annoying... and in essence exactly the opposite of the type of atmosphere in which you want to enjoy those lovely trappists ales...

Can't recommend anything in your exact area, but if you find yourself on the boarder of Lincoln Park and Old Town you should check out the Old Town Ale House... although the owner's husband's paintings are NSFW (but you're not at work when you're there, right?.) I've been going there for a long time and found it to be quite, relaxing, and a great place to chat in the afternoons and evenings. It gets busy on the weekend nights though...
posted by wfrgms at 9:09 PM on September 24, 2007

Hungry Brain for sure - Sunday nights they have free jazz shows (free as in no cost, although the type of jazz played tends toward the free variety) if you're into that.

Seconding Guthrie's as well. Simon's can sometimes be insane, but it tends to be more reasonable than the Hopleaf. I like the Sovereign at Granville and Broadway, although it's more of a dive than a pub.
posted by evisceratordeath at 9:27 PM on September 24, 2007

3rd-ing the Hungry Brain. It's my absolute favorite bar in the city. It does get louder on the weekends, though. I'll also give props to the Long Room. Both are places where if you're a regular, they'll get to know your name (or at least your face).

Also, Resi's on Irving is an old German brewpub that has a fabulous beer garden and some of the best potato pancakes in the city. It's pretty quiet.

I also frequently hang at the Black Rock at Addison and Damen (once again, it gets kind of rowdy on the weekends, but on a weekday or early on a Friday, it's AOK). They have a big room in the back with a fireplace, some board games and fried mac-and-cheese! Plus you can feel good knowing you're also supporting the local rugby team w/ yr patronage. Oh, and they have Adult Swim on the TVs on Sunday, if you're into that.
posted by pfafflin at 11:25 PM on September 24, 2007

Seconding the Longroom. Not too divey, but dark and great for conversation.
posted by bibbit at 4:01 AM on September 25, 2007

Duke of Perth is my dark, conversation-friendly pub of choice. Southish of Irving Park, but I live at Addison and walk there all the time.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:57 AM on September 25, 2007

Seconding the Silver Cloud. I proposed to my wife there. Granted it's a little south of you but worth it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:15 AM on September 25, 2007

When I was in Chicago a few weeks ago I was taken to the Meritage cafe for dinner (thumbs up) and we walked a block away to a place called Danny's. Nice quiet bar, dark wood, a superb selection of beer (despite the giant SCHLITZ sign outside). It's about 4miles directly SE of what Wikipedia tells me Irving Park is.
posted by phearlez at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2007

Although it might be too far north for you (Evanston), The Celtic Knot meets all of your other requirements.
posted by Sloben at 7:50 AM on September 25, 2007

Moody's Pub in Edgewater has fires burning inside in the winter and a pretty beer garden for the summer. Dark wood, yes, and just dark. Candlelight levels inside, usually. Probably everyone won't know your name, but they will give you free peanuts.
posted by zadermatermorts at 11:45 AM on September 25, 2007

I second the Edgewater Lounge. It's a small place, and the waitresses there are attractive, and they know their jobs very well. It's still warm enough that you can go sit outside on their patio also. Generally they have a good selection on tap.

The Hopleaf is a good place to go on a weekday. Weekends you're not going to get any conversation unless you grab a table in the back and eat some (expensive) food.

Simons is great for conversation on a weekday, and it's almost glug time.

T's @ Clark and Winnemac can get busy, but generally you'll be okay if you sit outside. They also have double-pint specials most nights of the week.
posted by lholladay at 2:53 PM on September 25, 2007

Cuneen's on Devon
posted by nax at 1:57 PM on September 26, 2007

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