Beneath chandelier-studded ceilings lined with hundreds of emerald-green Jameson whiskey bottles resides Mahoney's Pub & Grille, which slowly transforms from a classic pub awash with upscale bar fare to a pulsing dance club as the day winds into evening. After brunch dishes of biscuits and gravy have been devoured and cleared away, nearly a dozen taps and more than 50 bottles begin to bring forth American and international craft brews to balance the flavors of pan-seared Angus burgers, toasted four-cheese macaroni, and other culinary reinventions of American standards. Patrons should keep an eye out for special offers during the Superbowl and March Madness
As diners savor their bounty, ping-pong tables crack with bouncing balls. Banks of flat-screen TVs cycle through the latest sports action, with particularly momentous events appearing on one of two large projection screens. As the lights slowly dim and three isolated sound systems crank to party levels, video DJs emerge to commandeer the speakers and TV screens, spinning music ranging from old-school hip-hop records to two-step-inspiring country tracks and a wide range of 80s' hits.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Metropolis Bar & Grill's eclectic menu garnishes grins with a cosmopolitan hodgepodge of burgers, pizzas, Tex-Mex fare, and barbecue. Toppings such as pepperoni and giardiniera smother saucy pizza crusts, and a Veggie Lovers pizza nourishes gastro-gardens with produce such as red peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes ($17.95). The root-beer barbecue pulled-pork sandwich simmers its pork tenderloin stuffing in root beer and barbecue sauce before nestling it under a blanket of provolone ($7.95). Rebels imbibe in the Troublemaker, a juicy beef patty piled with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, lurking inside a salty pretzel bun ($8.95). An extensive list of other burger options include those infused with blue cheese, Tex-Mex spice, and Samuel Adams brew.
Named one of Chicago Magazine's Top 10 hottest restaurants, The Kinderhook Tap earns local laud with a menu of farmers'-market vegetables, all-natural meats, and rotating regional microbrews. Carousers can clink mugs over appetizers such as the Green Line quesadillas, where spinach tortillas envelop cheddar and jack cheese melted with green onions and pico de gallo. For the main course, a robust Kinderhook burger—formed with sustainably raised Seven Sons grass-fed beef—satisfies ravenous carnivores and comforts teeth with a blanket of cheddar cheese and a soft-pretzel bun. Chef Laura's giant crab cake scuttles across taste buds with wild-caught claw meat and a napa-fennel slaw. Ever-changing draft beers wash down comestibles, feting fall with a 16-ounce Dogfish Head Punkin ale or celebrating the invention of microscopic sledgehammers with a cold pour of Two Brothers Atom Smasher.
Fox's Restaurant & Pub first propped open its doors in 1964, welcoming diners with an extensive menu that eventually grew to encompass comfort foods from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to familiar Irish staples—including corned-beef sandwiches and shepherd's pie—the cooks sear 10-ounce hamburger patties and slather baby-back ribs in a rich barbecue sauce. For a distinctly Mediterranean touch, they also hand-form meatballs into perfect dodecahedrons and whisk together their own marinara sauces in-house. The pizza chefs can layer oven-crisped pies with more than 10 available toppings, such as giardiniera, sausage, and chopped garlic.
Select locations help to keep spirits high by hosting live music and restaurant-wide games of musical chairs throughout the week. Bands can get diners' toes tapping and heads bobbing by playing a combination of lively Irish classics and popular favorites.
Live music and nightly specials on comfort fare, beer, and cocktails lure spirited crowds into Drum & Monkey, a cozy Irish bar located near the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. The establishment's draft-libation varieties include Smithwick's, Bell's Oberon, and Miller Lite, and a menu loaded with comfort fare acts as a perfect quaffing countermeasure. To create the house specialty, irish nachos, chefs swap out tortilla chips for fried potatoes, and serve them to diners seated at the bar or writing poetry about particle physics at long wooden tables. Drum & Monkey encourages late-night revelry with its 2 a.m. closing time and weekly events, including Tuesday-night karaoke, Thursday College Nights, and live music.