Inspired by small craft spirit creators of yore, Derrick Mancini founded Quincy Street Distillery as a way to celebrate traditional, and create new, American spirits. Today, Mancini and distiller, Danny Maguire, oversee a small crew that crafts and bottles 12 artisanal, small-batch spirits including a mead-based dry honey spirit, a railroad gin, a colonial-style single malt rye, and a young bourbon whiskey that's too young to drink itself. Take a tour of the distillery to bring the full story of these libations into focus. Distillery tours detail every step of the grain-to-whiskey production, including fermentation, distillation, cutting, barreling, and bottling. Conclude with a tasting in the Speakeasy cocktail bar that includes a brief history lesson about many of the spirit brands, and after where patrons can purchase classic and original cocktails or pick up bottles at the retail shop. You can also reach the distillery by train on the Burlington Metra line just a block from the Riverside station.
Sullivan's Irish Pub & Eatery, a bastion of Irish culture in Chicago's South Side, is a time-honored destination for traditional Irish food and cold craft beer. Servers sling plates of corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, and other comforting classics, as well as boxtys?commonly known as Irish-style potato pancakes. Burgers, wings, and draft beer from Irish breweries such as Guinness and Smithwicks round out the menu. In addition to the hearty food and drink, the pub houses a stage for live music, while an outdoor bar stays open all four seasons for open-air sipping and plate Frisbee.
The Venue at Horseshoe Casino offers big city entertainment from just outside the big city. Revelers pile into the casino's complimentary shuttles and set off for Hammond, where penny slots and game tables await before they file into The Venue. The acts taking the stage could land anywhere on the live spectacle spectrum: Penn & Teller might combine comedy and magic with the sound of only one person talking, MMA fighters could get adrenaline pumping, or Huey Lewis and the News could inspire audience sing-alongs.
BR Steak Bar and Steakhouse has a succinct menu that, as the restaurant's name suggests, is filled mostly with cocktails and juicy cuts. A sidecar with a brown-sugar rim pairs nicely with any of the three 12-ounce steaks: a hand-cut Angus rib eye, a chargrilled new-york strip, or a skirt steak marinated in soy sauce and sugar. If you're not feeling red meat, the menu offers alternatives such as a turkey burger, cat fish, jumbo shrimp, salmon or buttermilk-fried chicken set atop a fluffy belgian waffle.
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.
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.