From Our Editors
After retiring in 1905 from his position as the Chicago chief of police, Francis O'Neill dedicated himself to the traditional music he learned to play as a child in Ireland. The celebrated musicologist amassed thousands of pieces, introducing Chicagoans to the dance-hall jigs and Gaelic folk songs he and thousands of other Irish immigrants had grown up listening to. When Brendan and Siobhan McKinney—All-Ireland musicians themselves—decided to open their cozy corner pub in 1999, naming it after the patron saint of Irish music in Chicago seemed natural. Inside the pub—whose dining room is dominated by dark hardwood and family crests built from stained glass—the McKinneys curate a menu of American-Irish hybrids and Gaelic classics. As the songs of live Uilleann bagpipers or fiddlers reverberate off the tchotchke-lined walls of the bar, guests tuck into irish-sausage-topped burgers, fish 'n' chips, and Guinness-infused meatloaf—a blend of beef, veal, and pork wrapped in bacon. To wash it all down, Chief O'Neill's stocks all manner of American craft brews, including selections from Three Floyds and Founders, that share menu space with pints of Harp and Smithwick's, and a smattering of Irish whiskeys.