Named after a famous player of the traditional uilleann pipes, The Kerry Piper honors the tastes and history of the Emerald Isle by serving authentic Irish eats in a pub steeped in classic decor. Natural sunlight illuminates the earthen walls and richly stained wood that fills the dining room, where live performers play music throughout the week. Meanwhile, the aromas of freshly cooked shepherd’s pie, fish 'n' chips, and corned beef fill the air, transporting patrons across the Atlantic along with big-screen LCD TVs just like the ones that filled Ireland’s ancient castles.
It's rare to witness even a second of silence at Maxum Bar & Grill, where the air is forever filled with the clinking of beer mugs, the clatter of pool balls, and the chatter of friends. Twenty television screens speckle the walls, sending the buzz of sports games out across the 5,000-square-foot space. On weekend nights, the lively joint echoes with the strain of live rock-band performances and DJ sets.
The atmosphere is equally boisterous in the kitchen, where juicy steaks crackle on the grills and huge pots bubble with housemade soup. Chef Kurt Guzowski and his chefs bustle about folding housemade sauces, tender meats, and fresh seafood into burgers, wraps, and other pub favorites. They shower plump chicken wings in a choice of seven different sauces, including tangy teriyaki and savory garlic. They also prepare the catch of the day according to customer specifications, grilling, sautéing, or enraging fresh fish filets until sizzling hot.
Mark's On 66 straddles the border of two distinct culinary philosophies, sating rumbling stomachs with a menu of timeless Tex-Mex standards while entertaining eyes and ears with sports-bar-style dartboards, TVs, and games. Overstuffed burritos and steamy fajitas intermingle with American-inspired burgers molded from quality beef and steak. Complimentary WiFi and matches on the in-house Wii add to an ambiance often tinged with upbeat notes and perfectly in-pitch meal orders sung by live musicians.
Stats Bar & Grill is a rare creation: a bar that's as serious about beer as it is about sports. Its beer menu takes up six menu pages, beer flights, 16 taps, and 35 bottles?plenty of room for both Budweiser and beloved craft beers such as Two Brothers' Cane & Ebel and Founder's All Day IPA. They've even included some hidden gems, such as Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
On the food menu, too, you can go basic or a little whimsical. Cabo San Lucas egg rolls, for example, reimagine the Chinese food staple as a kind of miniature chimichanga. You can get your fries topped with feta or truffle oil and your burger stuffed with bacon?or sink your teeth into the comfort of their classic counterparts or some three-cheese mac and cheese, which also appear on a kids' menu "in case you couldn't get a babysitter," as Stats puts it. Meanwhile, diners can turn to the TVs to keep an eye on the Bears, Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks, or all four in the event that Chicago elects a sports-hating mayor they all need to team up against.