Visitors to the Elgin Public House step into a cozy interior reinforced by exposed-brick walls. A culinary crew revives weary locals with a menu of hearty pub eats and a beer selection of 87 varieties imported from across Europe and the United States. Chefs use certified-Angus beef for burgers, stuff pork chops full of bleu cheese cornbread and mango chutney, and hand-cut steaks in-house after aging them a minimum of two weeks to ensure optimal flavor and prevent them from prank-calling patrons. A calendar of weekly events keeps things lively with regular offerings such as Wednesday-night trivia, Friday-night fish fries, and daily specials. One Tuesday each month, limited-seating dinner-pairing events offer six-course meals, with each course accompanied by an alcoholic beverage, such as red wine or tequila.
Conceived by Las Vegas restaurateur Mark DiMartino, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery evokes Ireland by way of Vegas, with waitresses dressed in plaid mini kilts shouldering trays of chilled beer and pub fare. Like an enchilada stuffed with four-leaf clovers, the eatery’s Irish nachos interpret a south-of-the-border classic in a Celtic way, slathering potato chips in cheese sauce and seasoned ground beef; alternatively, pot roast and vegetables simmer traditionally in the Olde Dublin Irish stew’s Guinness-infused beef stock. Barkeeps pour a full bar’s worth of wine, cocktails, and beer, which surfaces in bottles, bombers, and multi-brew mixes such as the Blue Moon and Guinness combination. High-definition TVs glow with a ceaseless parade of professional and college baseball, basketball, and hockey, and live bands add to the entertainment smorgasbord on Friday and Saturday nights.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood tickle ribs in an evening of improvised comedy. Starting with suggestions form the audience, Mochrie and Sherwood fashion witty sketches that free guffaws from bellies and remind sad clowns what they've given up for their craft. Interactivity spices up the evening, with the comedic pair calling audience members to the stage to assist in chuckle-making scenes. The Hemmens Cultural Center ensconces guests in main-floor seats guaranteed to be within 100 feet of the stage, affording straight sightlines to onstage action and comfortable distance from the occasional gargoyle infestations of the balcony.
According to Yeats, "There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met." The Irish poet may not have been referring to O'Hare's Pub, per se, but the O'Hare's staff uses this quote to steer their friendly serving style and casual atmosphere. Diners stay well-fed and well-quaffed with a never-ending stream of beers, spirits, and food. Enjoy classic pub food such as build-your-own burgers, wings, and french dip sandwiches, and Irish cuisine like corned beef and cabbage and beef and Guinness stew. The pub also offers eight large flatscreen TVs to watch the big game on, karaoke on Tuesday nights, and free live trivia on Wednesday nights.
McMae's Tavern & Grill assuages vocal stomachs with an eclectic menu of American-style eats in a modest pub environment. Relive Pavlovian experiments with McMae's saliva-inducing skirt steak, a tender, 6-ounce flank of juicy beef served with fresh vegetables ($12.95). Pastas permeate the menu, hiding linguini beneath a canopy of shellfish, bell peppers, and cilantro in the tiger shrimp creole ($12.95) or showcasing them front and center in the homemade manicotti ($9.95). Twelve sandwich offerings, one for every finger, fill out the lunch and dinner selection with crowd-pleasing combinations ranging from the grilled-salmon sandwich topped with caramelized onions ($9.95) to the chicken-parmesan sandwich ($7.95).