Island Sports Bar & Grill maintains the balance between good food and good fun, serving up hearty bar food to complement a full schedule of social events. The kitchen crew grills beef, turkey, and veggie burgers to order, and tops Vienna hot dogs with all the Chicago fixings. Meanwhile, customers strut their stuff during Monday-night line dancing and karaoke, learn stepping lessons on Tuesday, listen to a live band on Wednesday, cut loose at ladies night on Thursday, or slap their knees in jubilant joy or subtle spasm during the Friday-night comedy hour. The middle of the week brings a host of events.
Dennis and Marge Dennehy started the Dennehy School of Irish Dance more than 50 years ago. Since then, the school's instructors have taught Irish dances to countless kids—including Michael Flatley, who went on to star in shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Additionally, their competitive group, The Dennehy Dancers, participates in regional, national, and international competitions.
Twenty-five televisions seem like plenty of screens for watching pro sports, but at Bottoms Up Bar & Grill, they also have three 8-foot big screen TVs for an even more immersive sports-watching experience. However, when the TVs aren’t broadcasting sporting events, they take a back seat to a variety of other activities happening at the Grill. Guests chow down on steak sandwiches and personal-sized pizzas adorned with shrimp and sausage, while listening to the sounds of live bands jamming in the outdoor beer garden during warmer months or inside during the winter. And when the weather is warm, guests can also hurl bocce balls, basketballs, or beanbags during competitive games or confusing food fights.
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.
The Lingering Black Death sounds like its best feature is that it can only happen once. However, it happens as many times as you like at The Linger Martini Bar, where the moniker refers to a potent cocktail—a blend of absinthe, Pages Parfait Amour, and Bombay Gin is cut with cherry bitters, a sugar cube, and a dash of sweet champagne. The Death is just one of the bar’s 25 specialty drinks, which incorporate liquors such as Patron, Ciroc, Jose Cuervo, and Bacardi Limon. Patrons who leave their pet woodpeckers at home can enjoy cocktails and appetizers at a 25-foot walnut bar, or lounge on a comfy couch or in a low-clung captain’s chair. And for a bit of entertainment, they can try their hand at five machines with video slots and video poker, or enjoy the sounds of live music that never requires a cover.
Sisters Carey Williams and Lisa Marcotte bartended their way through college at the University of Illinois, but their love of the restaurant world didn’t go away after graduation. Carey followed up with culinary school and spent a stint as a caterer before joining Lisa to open Marcotte's Bar & Grill. Now she runs the kitchen, crafting a menu of bar food that ranges from buffalo wings and chicken-salad sandwiches to certified Black Angus burgers and thin-crust pizzas. In addition to the delicious food, the two sisters also entice guests with their family-friendly pub space’s amenities, which include free WiFi, patio seating in warmer months, and weekly events such as bingo, karaoke, and trivia night.
Every Monday night, The Blarney Stone opens its doors to a very special group of people—the geeks. Their weekly hosted trivia night, lovingly called "Geeks Who Drink," allows eggheads and trivia buffs of all walks of life to come together and test their wits as they feast on Irish classics such as the shepherd’s pie and halibut and chips. Meanwhile, cozied up to the bar or tucked behind a table, those who hide their geekiness under a bushel basket can mutter the answers under their breath while nursing an expertly poured pint of Guinness or tearing into one of the pub’s many flavorful burgers. In addition to the trivia night, patrons can satisfy their need for competition with NFL broadcasts and an accompanying football breakfast, a big-screen hookup to a Nintendo Wii, and paired pool tables and dart boards.
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