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A Tour of Chicago Dive Bars.

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Last night Julie and I went on a History Pub Crawl hosted by the Chicago History Museum.  The tour was of titled: Chicago’s Greatest Dive Bars.

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Our first stop on the tour was Rose’s Lounge which I’d been to once before. It’s the closest thing to Johnnies which holds a special place in my heart.  Rose opened up shop in 1962 after buying the building that owned The Pour House which dated back to 1918.  According to our guide, Rose immigrated from Macedonia and after several years as a factory worker she decided it was not for her.

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Of all the bars on the tour Margie’s is the closet to our house, had the friendliest bartender and as far as I can tell it’s the only place in Chicago with $1 steins on Monday nights.  Like many bars in the Lincoln Square neighborhood Margie’s started out as a German bar.  Margie, the original owner, was a rare female bartender in the neighborhood when her husband bought The Horseshoe bar for her.  The Horseshoe dated back to 1910.

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Richard’s Bar was by far the most lively and packed place of the night.  Oddly enough Julie was here last weekend for a bachelorette party so she had a good idea what we were getting into.  The building was also the oldest of all the places we visited, dating from the 1860’s.  It was originally a grocery store up until the 1920’s when it was transfered into a bar with a brothel upstairs.  In the 1990’s the owner named the place after her husband’s brother.

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Old Town Ale House was the only bar we stopped at that I had been to more than once.  The Old Town Ale House originally opened across the street from it’s current location in 1958.  There was a fire in 1971 and the bar moved to it’s current location.  For those that have never been, you can tell by my photographs below that the current owner is one hell of a painter.

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Side Notes:
* The rest of photographs can be found here.
** Our tour was hosted by Liz Garibay from the Chicago History Museum who has her own site:  talestavernsandtowns.com.
*** Thanks to Julie who took notes throughout.
**** These tours are held throughout the year by the Chicago History Museum and you can book them on their site.   Julie and I will be doing their Irish Pub tour in March as well.

Boston Hockey Trip.

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This weekend was my annual hockey trip which took us to Boston for the Penguins – Bruins game at TD BankNorth Garden.  The Pens have been coming off a rough stretch since Crosby has been out but they have recently been able to string together a couple of wins, Saturday being on of those wins.  Boston looked sloppy throughout the first two periods and then scored 2 goals within 1 minute in the third period.  Eventually Jordan Staal put the game away with a goal in the 3rd marking the first victory for any of these sports trips I’ve taken.

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After the game we headed out for the Steelers – Ravens AFC Championship game where we verbally assaulted during the first half of the game.  Finally with things not looking good we made a decision to move to the Boston Beer Works near the arena where everything turned around and we were treated with the respect of champions.

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We covered a lot of ground throughout the trip.  Some of us ended up walking more than 2 miles home because the Boston cab system is in shambles.  Seeing the Pats lose while we were in Boston in conjunction with the Pens and Steelers win was considered a sweep of the city.  We had several interactions with locals who thought it was their god given obligation to confront us.  We also came across several people who for some reason or another wanted to leave their parties and join ours.  And in conclusion a large variety of beer was consumed from the following establishments:

  1. Lord Hobo
  2. Union Oyster House
  3. Bell In Hand Tavern
  4. Bukowski’s
  5. Cambridge Brewing Company
  6. Boston Beer Works

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*Sidenote:

The rest of my photographs are here on Flickr.