Third Rail Tavern

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1133 W Madison St Chicago, IL 60607


The Third Rail Tavern—named in honor of owner Danny Shapiro’s grandfather, who helmed a bygone Chicago dive dubbed The Rail Inn—opened its doors in 2007 after an extensive remodeling that honored its old-timey air and propelled it into the 21st century. Exposed-brick walls peppered with sports memorabilia and neon signage stretch up to a 15-foot ceiling, which presides over a 40-foot mahogany bar and ultramodern audio/visual setup that shows live sports or footage of a kitten hunting a dryer sheet. Craft brews from Bell’s and Goose Island pour from foam-flecked taps, complementing a menu rife with classic bar fare and handheld eats—including 13 sandwiches and six burgers cloaked in one of seven types of cheese. On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch fare hampers hangovers with hearty salvers of syrup-smothered buttermilk pancakes and grilled egg sandwiches, readying guests for more evenings spent sipping the Third Rail’s selection of martinis and high-end spirits.