Your WAIW Pub Crawl Bar Roundup

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Your WAIW Pub Crawl Bar Roundup

. Thursday, June 9, 2011

Follow the red line to FREEDOM! (from sobriety)

We often get questions about why we choose the bars we do for the WAIW Pub Crawl. Some people ask why certain well-known bars make the list (short answer: because they are shitty and for douchebags) and some obscure places consistently make the cut (they're either dear to us or convenient). So in the spirit of answering your inquiries and giving you a little insight into the places you'll be visiting, here's a guide to the Third Annual WAIW Pub Crawl. Think of it as a one-man Yelp. With less credibility.

Let's start with blackballed candidates:


The Cubby Bear

Back in the 80s and early 90s, this placed used to have character. It was a weird mix of Cubs fans in satin jackets and the punk rock kids from Belmont/Clark (not a great area at the time) who came to shows there at night. Rainouts would create a concoction of pre-boom Chicagoana unthought of in today's hyper-defined neighborhoods.

Now? Douchebags. Suburban weekend warriors getting drunk in a "real Chicago bar." Screeching bachelorettes with broken heels and makeup applied with a paintball gun. $5 cans of warm Bud Light. Dickbag gimmicky cover bands. Annoying-as-fuck waitresses who constantly harangue you to buy shots, shitty warm beer, or overpriced jello shots from them like an economically depressed version of the movie Boiler Room.

Do I need to keep going? If a pub crawl takes you to The Cubby Bear, they're not your friend.

Harry Caray's

We actually like Harry Caray's, it just doesn't exist anymore. A shocking number of people are unaware of this. Somehow, the partners behind the place couldn't keep a Harry Caray themed bar (and a very pleasant, spacious, and enjoyable one at that) open across the street from Wrigley Field. Some people are fucking idiots.

It's now some generic Wrigleyville bar which we will not be going to.

Moe's Cantina

A gigantic space that reminds one of the bygone days of the Chicago Stockyards. Just replace the cattle with every person you've ever wanted to punch. It's every pejorative stereotype of the Lakeview scene gathered under one roof. I once witnessed a 10-minute argument over the amount of alcohol in a vodka-cranberry. The race card was pulled. You do not want to be in this place.

The Dugout

This pains us as well, because we totally dig the Dugout. It's takes me back to my college days drinking and playing beer pong in my fraternity's basement. We'd gladly include this in every Pub Crawl from now until the heat death of the universe. The only problem is they've never been open. The first year, we were able to talk someone inside into letting us in to throw around some cash and leave in 20 minutes. Last year? No one home. Dagnabbit.

John Barleycorn

Saved the worst for last. Back in 2004, I turned 21 years old. I was immediately too old for this place. It's like a giant McDonald's Playland for immature dumbshits. You could throw a can of paint into the place and not hit anyone who will contribute anything to Chicago aside from alley piss and regretful blowjobs.

Better names for this establishment (Lakeview branch only) include:

- P.J. O'Douchebag's
- Molly McDaterape's
- Finn McDaddyissues
- Jaegershotsbro Malone's
- Handjob O'Halloran's
- 1.87 Grade Point Average Public House

Fuck no we will not be going there. You're welcome.

Now for the good news - we will be attending these fine, fine establishments:

WAIW approved, mofos!

Pregame (1:30)- Lucky's Sandwich Company

My dear mother (who is indeed coming to the Crawl and will drink your ass under the table) always repeated that invaluable drinker's maxim - "you've got to lay a base to get serious drinking done." The dear woman is correct as always, and there's no better place on the Crawl route than Lucky's. Sandwiches the size of a respectable infant, stuffed with meats and fries. I always go for the Two-Bagger - a duo of meats with a fried egg completing the veritable protein-bomb. It's safe to say that this place is responsible for any longevity I may display at the crawl.

We'll get there early, warm up with a few beers,and hopefully grab enough seats for the crowd that always chooses to eat and take some drinking BP with us. The employees, considering they didn't know there were going to be 30-40 people showing up and demanding drinks and a base to lay, are excellent about the entire affair.

We highly recommend you get some pre-game action going with us.

1st - The Yard (2:30 arrival, game starts at 3:00)

It's always hard getting that engine running - new people meeting each other, not quite drunk enough to really let go - but The Yard does a great job of it. They get everyone the first pitch beer with expediency, and serve as an excellent, and geographically convenient, place to start the game.

2nd Inning - The Stretch

We're adding The Stretch this year, a very respectable and recently renovated bar on a part of Clark Street where we often struggle to find venues.

After perusing their website, I sincerely hope that their advertised "$15 domestic cans and bottles" special is either a bucket or a misprint.

3rd Inning - Merkle's

Named after a key figure in the last season the Cubs won a World Series - you know, before the Polio vaccine - Merkle's has a bitchin' plate of chicken nachos and usually throws us a good beer special.

Fair warning: this tends to be the place where people think it's a good idea to get a draft beer. I swear to the ghost of Hack Wilson, if you get a fucking draft beer at this bar, I'm going to stab you in the face.

4th Inning - Mullen's

Our most beloved bar on the crawl. Mullen's was the place where, as impressionable and newly-minted legal drinkers, we discovered that there was a bar just down the street from Wrigley where you could enjoy a bar in a closed-off alleyway on a hot summer night. Damn that was glorious - I wax nostalgic about it with the same reverence that Bob Costas uses for describing the handjob he gave to Roger Goodell back in 2005.

5th Inning - Sluggers

Like a coiled cobra. Riding a panther. In a lightning storm.

Notice how all the bars we hate seem to be Wrigley-area mega-bars? Well, this is a mega-bar done right. Each year features a batting cage challenge between myself and my esteemed co-editor. First we try the beer-in-hand Jim Abbott swing. Then we go for reals. It's dynamite. Make sure to cheer for whoever you love best and curse the very memory of the other. Sportsmanship!

6th Inning - The Captain Morgan Club

Here we endeavor to give you a little taste of Wrigley on our crawl. It's actually a really cool place, considering it's an annex of the stadium. Compared to other bars in Lakeview, it's downright competitively priced.

7th Inning - Sports Corner

The newly-rebuilt Sports Corner is huge and has a great selection of beers. Go for a bottle anyway, and drink that shit fast.

8th Inning - Murphy's Bleachers

The absolute classic. If personified, it would be a grizzled 72 year old who can tell you stories about a fistfight with Stan Hack and still drink you under the table.
Also the site of Steve's meeting with Rick Sutcliffe, who used to slump-bust, as it were, in the apartment upstairs back in the day.

9th Inning - Bernie's

Bernie's is a good-ass bar, and usually serves as the site of our pre-game drinking when the Cubs are at home. Or, if we're serious about things, pre-game drankin'. It's always served as the concluding bar to the Pub Crawl proper.
The first year, we not only closed the inaugural Crawl out there, but also stayed an additional four (!!!) hours to play shuffleboard and watch the Hawks demolish the Canucks.
Last year, after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, I waded past the crowd and cops on horses to celebrate at Bernie's.
Lots of hockey talk, huh? It's a pretty good indication of how the Cubs are doing this year.

Post-game/Extras - The Gingerman

The gingerman is an excellent cash-only bar that we hit for continued drinking, which is surprisingly in demand on crawl day. They also serve Jeppson's Malort. DARE YOU STEP ACROSS THAT FINAL FRONTIER!?!?!?

Still Want To Keep Drinking But Also Need Food Inning - D'Agostino's

It's difficult to eat pizza and sleep at the same time.

D'Agostino's is awesome - a true Wrigley tradition for your esteemed bloggers, even over on Southport. It's where Hendry, in the one move I approve of in the last three years, brought Kerry Wood to hammer out the deal that brought Woody back to the Cubs.
Last year, it's where the wheels fell off for yours truly - see above. I will endeavor to serve you better this year.

The hour is nearly upon us. Remember:

- Bring cash
- Order bottles
- Lay a base
- Go Cubs Go!


Sarah Ellen said...

This shut is Funny. I'm super jealous I can't attend. I had a stretch going there.

Brian said...

I lawled.

Mitch said...

Have a great time! Sorry I have to miss it. I'll be back next year.

Jake said...

I vow to return next year. Oh D'Agostinos. Where Carruthers fell asleep and Wolter weirded everyone out with a story about something or other. I can't remember, only that he was rambling like a mad man. We wound up at Southport Lanes after that for the "We now have food in us and want to continue drinking" Inning.