They are the industry workhorses. Some call them classics, some call them dives. They aren’t trendy and range from neighborhood watering holes to historic landmarks. Here three Chicago bartenders pick classic bars worth visiting. 

The Green Mill | Photo Credit: bg5000 [flickr]

The Green Mill | Photo Credit: bg5000 [flickr]

"I see a lot of places claiming to be a dive bar but from a guy that grew up in Northern Wisconsin and have seen real dive bars, I think we need to ditch that term here in the city of Chicago unless you truly understand what it means.

A few things to look for:
1) hand-knitted coasters
2) plastic random bottles with cartoon logos of "pre mix" on the back bar.
3) absolutely no food offerings.
4) a broken pool table.
5) duct tap holding furniture together."
- Bartender Dustin Drankiewicz of The Tack Room


Rose's Lounge | Photo Credit: Sean Davis [flickr]  

Rose's Lounge | Photo Credit: Sean Davis [flickr]

 

Rose's Lounge

"This is great and the most random watering hole I've been to in Chicago, a true ‘dive’ bar or classic in its own right."
FED Pro > Bartender Dustin Drankiewicz of The Tack Room

656 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614
T: 773.327.4000

The Green Mill | Photo Credit: Daniel Novta [flickr]

The Green Mill | Photo Credit: Daniel Novta [flickr]

The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

"I enjoy the ambiance, just knowing what happened here and the history it invested during Prohibition is pretty great!"
FED Pro >  Bartender Dustin Drankiewicz of the Tack Room

"For a taste of historic Chicago and jazz."
FED Pro > Bartender Danny Shapiro of Scofflaw

"This is the very first bar I went to when I turned 21 and for me is probably the most iconic of Chicago. Knowing its history as a real speakeasy and the old stomping grounds of Al Capone, it just transports you to a different time and place."
FED Pro > Bartender Patrick Smith of The Violet Hour

"The Green Mill for music is iconic."
FED Pro > Bartender Freddie Sarkis

4802 N Broadway Street, Chicago, IL 60640
T: 773.878.5552 | greenmilljazz.com

J & M Tap 

"It is just a few blocks from Sportsman's and has become a new old favorite. It's got a pool table, free pretzel rods, and cheap pitchers of beer. It's cozy as hell."
FED Pro > Bartender Graham Heubach of Sportsman Club

957 North Leavitt Street, Chicago, IL 60622
T: 773.235.0499 | www.jandmtap.com

Photograph courtesy of Rossi's

Photograph courtesy of Rossi's

Rossi’s

"This is a third shift packaged goods bar, so they open at 7am and you can grab a sixer to go. It hearkens back to a time with that part of town was full of adult bookstores and similar seedy dives."
FED Pro > Bartender Graham Heubach of Sportsman Club

412 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654 | T: 312.644.5775

Photograph courtesy of Delilah's

Photograph courtesy of Delilah's

Delilah's 

"Located in Lincoln Park, it is sort of a hybrid. It's an old-ass bar in a rickety old house with a very thorough, world-class whiskey selection."
FED Pro > Bartender Graham Heubach of Sportsman Club

"It's only in recent years you can order cocktails here. Delilah's has one of the most impressive whiskey collections in the entire country."
FED Pro > Bartender Freddie Sarkis of Broken Shaker

 2771 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614
T: 773.472.2771 | www.delilahschicago.com


The FED Pros

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Dustin Drankiewicz

Beverage director of 16 on Center, which includes Dusek’s, the Promontory, Punch House, Tack Room in Chicago. Order a Tack Room Buck (bourbon, carrot ginger beer, lemon, mint), a house-made pretzel with spicy mustard and beer cheese.

Tack Room
1227 W 18th St, Chicago
312.526.3851
dusekschicago.com

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Graham Heubach

General Manager of Sportsman’s Club in Chicago. He began as a barista, then worked at The Gage, followed by The Dawson. He recommends you order a shot from their amaro machine and pair it with a can of cold Hamm’s.

Sportsman's Club
948 North Western Ave, Chicago
872.206.8054
drinkingandgathering.com

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Danny Shapiro 

Partner at Scofflaw, a gin-focused bar in Chicago. Shapiro originally moved to Chicago to take comedy-writing classes at Second City, but ended up working at Perennial and the Whistler cocktail bars.

Scofflaw
3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
773.252.9700
 www.scofflawchicago.com




 

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Freddie Sarkis

Head bartender and bar manager at Broken Shaker Chicago, the sister bar of Broken Shaker Miami. He recommends you go adventurous with their menu, like trying an artichoke-infused gin, or beef-infused bitters.

Broken Shaker
19 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
T: 312.940.3699

thefreehand.com


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