Beneath the glow of 12 high-definition plasma televisions, riotous sports fans toast to their teams by clinking glasses and smushing burgers together at First Place Sports Bar & Grill. Between sips of cold beer and bites of handheld eats including sandwiches, nachos, and ribs, bar-goers throw wild shots at three dart boards and play 52-ball pickup around the pool table. Numerous video games, such as 2010 Golden Tee Live, Silver Strike, and Big Buck Hunter, jingle in anticipation of a feeding of quarters, while a jukebox offers a custom soundtrack to sporting revelry.
Chicago City Limits, an official Blackhawks bar, hosts a horde of televised and live entertainment options and a home team of servers who sling a specials-studdedmenu of classic bar fare and drinks. Dinnertime diners can defeat hunger in overtime with a full slab of ribs ($15.95), while pieces of beer-battered Alaskan whitefish lead the weekly all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry to victory ($6.99). Weekday lunch specials arrive tableside sporting a dapper fez and a choice of sides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and include a classically prepared hamburger and chef salad ($4.99 each). Break fasts on Saturdays and Sundays until noon with a choice of french toast ($2.95), a three-egg omelette flanked by potatoes, toast, and coffee ($5.95), or a bacon-topped breakfast sandwich ($3.95). Wash down this array of eats with beer by the bottle, pint, or pitcher, or a cocktail creation coached by a varsity mixologist.
More than 30 television screens glow within the crimson-walled interior of Wild Bull Bar & Grill, where thirsty sports fans cheer on Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls between sips of brew. The kitchen dishes out finger fare from curly fries to wings slathered in eight types of sauce—including super-spicy suicide sauce—as well as hearty pub fare such as the 10-ounce Wild Bull burger. Colored lights paint the dance floor as rug-cutters tap toes, and the bar's agenda book is packed with live music, trivia nights, and doodles of Sid Luckman riding a bucking bronco.
Suffused with the glow of 19 televisions and a high-definition projector, Chicago Loop Sports Bar and Grill caters to local fans with a menu of bar favorites and ample pours of brews and drinks. A heavily sauced selection of ribs, wings, burgers, and tacos satisfies game-day cravings and lubricates tongues for arguments about whether hockey is staged. Foamy beers and mixed cocktails slide down the bar to waiting hands while events such as trivia, karaoke, live bands, and standup comedy are officiated from the stage.
France has graciously loaned three things to America: wineable grapes, Gerard Depardieu, and words that end with a silent but deadly x. Admire the taste of a tradition that has lasted well beyond the Statue of Liberty's original shine with today's Groupon to Bistro 110. For $25, you'll get $50 worth of mouthwatering hedonistic creations made in the French tradition of rich sauces and copious butter, or as the French call it, "fool's gold."
Sam Elias knows that being cooped up during long winter days can make people stir-crazy. So in 1993, after moving from Florida, land of palm trees and beaches, to Chicago, land of frigid winds and gray slush, he founded WhirlyBall as a way for people to release pent-up energy even as snow was falling outside. During each competitive WhirlyBall game, which combines aspects of basketball, hockey, and jai alai, players zoom across an indoor 50'x80' court in motorized cars called WhirlyBugs. They wield plastic scoops to toss a wiffle ball back and forth to their teammates before throwing the ball through an elevated goal. Refs keep watch during the games, eliminating score arguments that would otherwise end in sunrise duels. To fuel up for a bout, players nibble teriyaki chicken satay, gourmet pizzas, and prime rib, and swig draft beers, which vary by location.
All three WhirlyBall spots boast off-court diversions such as video games, pool tables, foosball, and air hockey. The Vernon Hills location hosts an indoor rock-climbing wall, and both the Chicago and Vernon Hills locations invite guests into multilevel Lasertron laser-tag arenas, which fill with fog and flashing lights as combatants duck, aim, and invoke Geneva Convention protocols regarding armed conflict.