Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just About Go Time

I've called Lincoln Park and Lakeview my home for roughly 4 years now, but it's safe to say I'm not an expert on the area. My reasons for living in this part of Chicago are numerous, and the myriad options available for enjoying a drink outside of my living room is one of them. There's a good chance that I live in the middle of what may be one of the highest bar density centers in the country (possibly the world)...however the local watering holes that I regularly venture out to, by my own choosing, probably number less than 10.
Some of these places I consider to be lacking in originality, effort and appearance. Some of them presumably serve a clientele that I choose not to associate myself with. Some of them serve a clientele that would probably rather not associate with me. Quite a few of them I never knew existed until we put together this project.
We've counted and added roughly 155 bars to our list, give or take any that open/close throughout the year or places that we've missed in our initial inventory.
The posts here aren't intended to be reviews of each bar we visit -- we'll leave that up to the folks over at metromix, yelp, and every other online user-driven-content web site. These also aren't intended to be well-researched accounts of each bar's history and what you can expect to find upon visiting, we'll leave that up to Sean Parnell and his terrific site, the Chicago Bar Project (see the links on the right).
Generally our plan is to simply take an open mind into every bar, grill, tavern, inn, club and nitespot we attend. If we love the place, we'll let you know what made it enjoyable. If we hate the place, we'll tell you why. Our plan is just to keep a written account of at least one drink consumed within each location, hopefully providing stories that are worth reading along the way.
It's been my experience that a good night out hinges more on your attitude and companions than it does on the location. As two Sox fans who will be spending a considerable amount of the summer in Wrigleyville, hopefully this proves to be true.
We'll start making our rounds soon, please join us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's Goin' On?

Hatched while watching a snowstorm fall on the Chicago intersection of Clark & Belmont from the front windows of The L & L Tavern, Rick and I wondered how many bars are within a mile of our apartment. Before determining the answer we decided it would be our challenge and opportunity to visit all of them during calendar 2009. This site will be the chronicle of our chronicles.
Official rules for what constitutes a "visit" and what establishments qualify are forthcoming. Generally we have to have one drink there and it has to be a place that one would go to just to have a drink. (ex: The Vic does not count, that is a concert venue. We'll probably end up having a drink there anyway and write about it. Cesars/Killer Margaritas does count. People go there to drink margaritas.) If the place is famous or known for something we will attempt to enjoy that (fish & chips at the Duke of Perth; karaoke at Trader Todds).
When I say that there are a LOT of qualifying bars that we would normally not visit it is not an understatement.

We're searching for a better title for this. Feel free to submit any ideas.

These don't count, but last night's venues were Parrots, The L & L Tavern, Matilda and Baby Atlas. There are an astonishing number of unfavorable reviews on L & L at yelp.com. We surveyed the Saturday night drinkers attempting to determine who would go home disgruntled, armed with the power of the internet and their wits. The jukebox at the L & L is adjacent to the men's restroom, however the old man sitting by the jukebox smelled far worse than the toilets. He asked that I play a Marvin Gaye song first. I did.