Verdant acreage surrounds Jordan’s Pub & Eatery, which serves as a lively rendezvous inside the calm of the Cook County forest preserve. Homemade pub grub and scratch-made thin-crust pizzas comprise the menu alongside 35 beers, 8 of which flow from the bar’s foam-flecked taps. Like the arcade in the basement of the United Nations, the eatery is an arena for friendly competition: Chicago sports and UFC fights flicker on eight high-definition TVs, and darts slice through the lambent glow of a blinking battalion of arcade games. On Tuesday evenings, amateur crooners pour melodies into the microphone of a top-notch karaoke setup. Kaleidoscopic alcohol bombs cycle through watermelon, cherry, and grape flavors throughout the week, providing tiny alternatives to Jordan’s 16 martinis, which evoke such decadent flavors as key-lime pie and creamsicle.
If you've been bowling in Chicago, chances are pretty good you've been to a Chicagoland Bowling establishment. With member centers from 3700 N. Western to 12345 S. Halsted, the organization connects pin destroyers all over the city. The advantages of this network include tournaments that span the entire region, scholarship programs for talented youth bowlers, and a cornucopia of options for clowns who juggle bowling pins.
Rokwelz Bar Meets Grill piles plates with classic pub fare that is well met by pints of varied brews slung in a jovial neighborhood setting. A frosty domestic beer ($3), glass of wine ($5–$7), or spunky mixed drink ($4.50–$7) can cool palates scorched by the punchy, jalapeño-topped Light My Fire burger ($8.99). The brotherly-love-laced beef slices and soft mozzarella cheese of the philly steak Samich ($8.99) presents a sentimental counterpoint to the unblinking new york strip steak ($18.99), a seasoned city dweller that eschews taste-bud small talk in favor of forthright flavor. The chefs at Rokwelz use their uncanny origami skills to flip and spin disparate ingredients into delicious wraps and paninis, such as the ham, cheese, and pesto-strewn Lucky Lefty's panini ($8.99). To cover deafening sounds of satisfied chewing, Rokwelz occasionally hosts live music, and on nice days, guests may elect to be seated outdoors on the large patio.
There's something different about Trio Bar. The dimly lit atmosphere might seem familiar, the crowds of friends may feel like family, the vodka-lemonade mix might taste like a distant summer afternoon—but there's a scent in the air that isn't common in bars. That's because Trio's kitchen sends out a steady stream of classic Chicago-style sandwiches stacked with roast beef and spicy giardiniera, Angus beef burgers on fragrant pretzel rolls, and homestyle Italian favorites. Housemade meatballs crown platefuls of spaghetti, and crispy thin-crust pizzas emerge with any combination of 23 toppings, including shrimp, basil, and zucchini. It's this mix of garlic, barbecue sauce, grilled rib-eye steaks, and freshly baked dough that fills the air and transforms something familiar into something entirely different.
Trio Bar's tables let guests enjoy this bounty peacefully while leaving plenty of room for crowds to stand, mingle, and cheer on Thursday-evening karaoke performers. Live DJ sets get the weekends rolling, and flat-screen televisions fill the rest of the nights with sports broadcasts and slow-motion replays of Garry Kasparov's most famous chess moves.