Bulldog Brewery was born out of steelworker Kevin Clark's home brewing hobby. But founding his own brewery didn't mean Kevin was ready to quit his day job. And neither have co-owners, Bob Fausto and Jeff Kochis, a steelworker and a second-generation firefighter respectively. The hard work required of having two jobs is in keeping with the brewery's mission: to celebrate small town America and the blue collar workers who live there.
One of the ways they achieve this goal is by providing a place for customers to relax after a hard day's work, whether it's with a grilled panini sandwich or a pint of flavorful lager, stout, or IPA. Their beer also celebrates the working man. The 1890 Stout, for instance, commemorates the year that oil refineries came to Whiting. Its dark, crude-like color conceals notes of vanilla bean and cherry, and it's best consumed while wearing an oil can jauntily perched upon your head.
War almost was not the name slapped across gold records such as The World is a Ghetto and Why Can’t We Be Friends? When the name was first suggested, as founding member Lonnie Jordan recalls, the band thought it might sound too radical. But then they reconsidered, Jordan says, and decided to “wage war with melody, rhythm, and harmony as our weapons and the songs as our ammunition. We spoke out against racism, hunger, gangs, and crime and fused rock, jazz, Latin, and R&B.”
An oversize photograph of a rhinoceros hangs on one of the walls at White Rhino Bar & Grill, serenely surveying a kingdom accented by natural stone and brightened by the glow of 21 flat-screen televisions. With the noble beast’s blessing, diners can tear into savory American food ranging from griddled steaks and slow-cooked ribs to pizzas layered with andouille sausage, shrimp, and gouda. Bartenders mix cocktails, host wine tastings, and serve more than 110 beers, and DJs spin music that often leads to nighttime dancing and spontaneous daytime jazzercise sessions.
Blue 82 covers all the sports-bar bases by keeping its patrons well-fed and up to speed on their favorite teams' scores. As diners dig into heaping piles of nachos dotted with chicken or pork, servers move between tables, clearing empty plates that once bore burgers stuffed with cheeses and peppers. In the evenings, on-screen sports entertainment competes with music from live bands and DJs as bartenders pour out drink specials and crack open beers.
Like any pub found in its namesake counties, Cork & Kerry boasts an interior of dark, shiny wood paneling and exposed brick accented by stained glass windows. Unlike many of those pubs, however, the venue sprawls across 6,000 square feet, its crowning jewel a multi-level beer garden. In summer, the entire garden provides a sunny spot to enjoy one of the 20 beers on tap, a selection anchored by the constant presence of Guinness and Harp. Come winter, a portion of the patio boasts enclosed walls and climate control so that guests can still enjoy Chicago’s sunny, if snowier, vistas.
Brazilian native Mestra Marisa Cordeiro’s hard work at a prestigious capoeira academy in Sao Paulo paid off—she is now one of the highest-ranking female capoeiristas in the world. She brings this expertise to Gingarte Capoeira Chicago, where she has been introducing students to the acrobatic blend of martial arts and dance since 1991. Here, she and a team of experienced and qualified instructors have established a loyal foundation of more than 100 students—some of whom have been at the studio since its inception—and welcome newbies with classes for those of all ability levels.
The chefs at Park 52 adorn plates with upscale American cuisine that includes house-smoked ribs and pan-seared seafood. An open-exhibition kitchen grants diners firsthand glances at the cooks' culinary skills and onion-juggling contests. Scores of wines from around the world slake thirst by the glass or bottle, and bell-shaped overhead lights build a soothing ambiance in the dining area, which is accented with draping red curtains.