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Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Active Beers: 31
Beer Ratings: 650
Beer Avg: 3.78
Taps: 18 / Bottles: 10
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
1927 W North Ave
phone: (773) 772-4422
8 house taps, 10 guest taps.
Extreme parking enforcement area.
Metered parking on North Ave., permit only on side streets.
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 114 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
A leisurely stroll throughout the Chicago streets takes us first to Bangers & Lace then to the Maproom, and now dinner and beers at Piece caps the night with pizza and ale- yea, I'm a happy guy.
The busy dinner hour rush held us up at the door for a few minutes. When asking the door guy for recommendaitons of what's a preferred flagship and a special beer not to be missed, the young fellow replied with Worryin' Ale and Wingnut with no hesitation.
We shrugged off the 20 minute wait for a table for two open seats at the bar. This gave us a chance to take in the large warehouse-type space. Full of beer drinkers and pizza eaters, it looks like there's 50 tables with a curved bar that has to seat 30 or so. The space and personnel handles the Wednesday night crowd very well. A mix of industrial designed lighting, chalk boards, and exposed brick, ductwork, and structure reinforces the notion of being a hipster joint under the tracks; except we're in a pretty nice Chicago neighborhood.
The two pints of beer were nicely promptly delivered and provided a very rewarding taste that's malty rich, seemingly of English origins, firmly hopped with noble and American varieties, and enough of an American experimental attitude to keep the imagination churning. With their strong malty character, the beers were not the perfect match for the garlic pesto pizza but that's my fault. The thin and biscuity crusted pizza is a departure from the famed deep dish Chicago pies and took care of the hunger pangs, but yielded few other reasons to celebrate. This is Chicago- food expectations are high here.
The bar staff was courteous although very busy. They took care of our orders swiftly and efficiently but with little opportunity for conversation otherwise. The visit to Piece was satisfying and rewarding but I left with the impressions that Chicago has better to offer. Although the business model for this brewpub seems strong and loyal, it has a sense that it is 1992 and can use a remodel from concept to execution to fulfill the demands of today's beer enthusiasts.
06-20-2012 18:01:33 |
More by BEERchitect
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped at this place after Dark Lord Day 2007. Decent place, but there was a number of things that pissed off the inner beer geek in me.
The place was packed. Not to capacity like Map Room or Three Floyds were when I visited, yet this place was completely stuffed full of people to point of annoyance, despite being much larger than either place. We got on the list for a table, and were quoted an hour and a half wait, but we were welcome to stand at the bar. Using our empirical knowledge of packed restaurants, we decided to order a pint and check back with the hostess in a few minutes, since usually places shoot a much higher estimate. So after 20 minutes of standing in an aisle with a pint in my hand, attempting to dodge the waitstaff who seemed to be in a hurry and subsequently pissed off, we were finally seated.
The place was very well kept. It was a cool, modern, and UBER trendy place full of "cool" young trendsters. Has the feel of a sports bar / exclusive club where they only let in douchebags with popped collars who smell like they just used a whole can of Axe body spray. I kind of felt out of place wearing my DFH t-shirt and jeans, but I really don't give a fuck about image, and people who care TOO much really annoy me for some reason or another. Anyways, as soon as I walked in the door, I came to the realization that this is the type of place that "cool" people come to drink good beer, and not necessarily because they enjoy it, but because it LOOKS cool.
The beer was good, but fairly pedestrian. The thing that really pissed me off, though, was the menu itself. The printed menu had about 4 beers listed with no mention of style. I could only guess based on the brief descriptions what the styles may be. What's even more fucked up, I looked over at my friend's menu and noticed that his beer list was different than mine. Neither was up to date, so we had to look at the chalk board above the bar. The chalk board had all the current offerings, but no style info. We asked the barstaff, and they didn't know a damn thing about the beers they were serving aside from the names, and they even gave us a pissy sneer that more or less said, "We're busy and don't have time for you, so just order something with a cute name."
So, finally I ended up ordering the Golden Arm, simply because I knew it would be a lighter beer, and I needed such, after standing in the heat all day whilst drinking Dark Lord. Turns out it was a Kolsch, and a surprisingly good one. My friend ordered the Flat Iron Stout (the only beer on the chalk board that had the style in the name). It was a very good Dry Stout, but it had a caramel flavor (not like caramelized malt, but REAL caramel). Good, even if it isn't to style. My other friend ordered a Full Frontal, just because he is a lecherous bastard and wanted to ask the hot bartender for a Full Frontal. It turned out to be a delicious IPA, and I ended up drinking a couple of them throughout the night. Another friend of mine ordered Dolomite, which turned out to be a malt liquor, served with a small brown bag over the glass. Nice touch.
The pizza was great, though. A wide variety of traditional and untraditional toppings (mashed potatoes?). Served on gigantic trays that they place on a rack over the table; just at the right height that a pint glass can fit under. It's a great idea for saving space, but it makes it impossible for the already bimbo waitstaff to see that you are in need of a refill... which brings me to my next point. My friend that was drinking the Full Frontal was in the restroom when the waitress came to the table. She simply took his empty glass and asked everybody else at the table which beer he just had. We weren't quite paying attention to what was going on, so we simply said "Full Frontal," not knowing that we had unsuspectingly ordered his next beer for him. It turns out that that's what he wanted, but that's no excuse. To give her credit, we should have seen that coming, but in our defense, I have had great waitstaff that have asked what I had just to see if I enjoyed it, or to simply shoot the shit about the beer and be personable. Regardless of whether or not it was our fault, she really should have waited until he was back at his seat to ask if he even wanted to order another beer to begin with.
To make a long story short: call in your pizza for carry-out and pick up a growler to go along with it, but don't stay, and do your research here first, otherwise you'll have no way in hell of knowing what you're getting yourself into style-wise. This place has a LOT of potential, but it seems like their focus is on image rather than beer, which is a shame because it seems like their brewer really knows what he's doing.
04-30-2007 04:25:34 |
More by MABZ
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
When we walked in we were greeted with a sterile, clean... sort of stiff feeling brewpub. The bar was off to the right with high top seating and more seating off the main room. Clean walls, a few TVs about... it was sort of restaurant-sports bar meets brewpub. For some reason it didn't feel "beery" even though there was a huge chalkboard touting all the awards their beers won. Impressive and cheesy at the same time. The atmosphere wasn't cozy and it wasn't classy either... it was sort of just neutral.
We found a seat at the bar; it was around 2pm on a lazy Monday. I was not thrilled with the beer selection; it was heavy on wheat beers and lighter offerings. No stouts or porters, nothing too hoppy. I tried their ESB and it did nothing for me. However, the guest taps were great. Racer 5, two 3F beers and about 10 other tasty offerings... I had a Racer 5 with my pizza. It is a shame I needed to drink a guest beer at a brewpub...
The pizza was thin crust, simple, greasy and nothing special. The bartender talked us into getting the spinach dip and chips, it was far from great.
The service was above average but not overly noteworthy. It took sometime for us to get our check as one of the two bartenders/waitress seemed to have disappeared. But, overall, no complaints.
We stopped here because it was close to the train stop and a short walk to Map Room. Nothing about Piece was outstanding enough for me to recommend to others and I really have no need to return the next time I am in Chicago. Sadly, it was a forgettable brewpub experience.
08-13-2008 14:59:26 |
More by bditty187
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Piece has a very large open feel to it. High arched ceilings and clear glass skylights across the center of the space. It is decorated with modern and contemporary furnishings in an industrial barn-style building. Restored heavy wooden beams and trusses support the arched roof.
The smell inside is very nice. Garlic, pizza dough and other pleasant scents greet as you enter.
On this particular visit our party was unable to sit at the bar, due to pretty good sized crowd. We ended up at table in the smoking section. Most of the other patrons were there for the pizza.
The pizza is not the pizza that Chicago is famous for, but something different. We had a white pizza (no tomato sauce) olive oil and garlic as the sauce on a bready cracker type crust. The pizza was actually pretty good.
The Piece beers I tried were very enjoyable and well made. Top Heavy Hefe and Fornicator were very tasty and good examples of the style.
Our waitress knew a little bit about the beers. I hope to be able to sit at the bar on my next visit. This would allow me focus more on the beers and find out if the bartenders know anymore than the waitress did.
08-21-2006 15:45:32 |
More by EvilKeith
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
We stopped in to Piece on a Monday afternoon. Nice atmosphere to the place. Plenty of big screens showing ESPN around the room. I was able to enjoy a Dysfunctionale which was an extremely good Pale Ale. The next beers enjoyed were there Worryin Ale and the Porter.
The pizza that my wife and I enjoyed was very good. I would recommend it to anyone.
Now the downside of the visit: The service was poor at best. There appeared to be one lady working the bar and the tables in the restaurant at the same time. On one occasion, I sat with an empty glass for quite a while. It also took her quite a while to run our credit card to cash us out to leave. The service was a big negative.
With exception of the service, I liked the place. May have to give it another try and hope for better service though.
07-08-2008 18:06:50 |
More by hoosier222002
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5
This place had a barn-like feel to it with wooden rafters strung with Xmas lights. A big, wide-open room with a long bar and totally stuffed with finished wooden tables, some higher than others, and some booths. Cement floors. Atmosphere was so-so--like a sports bar more or less.
Would've liked to try the food, but went after dinner. Mostly pizza anyway.
The beer, I thought, was pretty interesting. I was pretty surprised. Had the Worryin Ale, Big n Curvy, their Anniversary Ale, and the Hefe Weizen--in a big 22oz. glass. Lots of other beers on tap, including 3 Floyds, Bells, and Pabst, and a great selection of bottles, including 10 great int'l selections.
They also have free wireless internet.
I'd go back.
09-07-2004 21:10:26 |
More by donnebaby
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
After hearing great things about this place, I decided to finally quit wavering and get my ass in for a visit. It's a decently large (compared to other, slightly similar places I've been to) place, with that kind of Max and Erma's faux-semi-postmodern-industrial motif going on, what with exposed brick and ductwork intermingling with drywall, metals, and smooth 'n' shiny woods. It's never been my thing, but at least it's not a turn-off. A few flat screens line the wall over the bar and into part of the seating area, allowing for a glimpse into the sporting world not often seen at brewpubs these days (sometimes awesome, sometimes not). As per usual, I eschewed tables and whatnot for a seat at the bar. I ordered a flight of everything to give myself a sense of what Piece was all about beer-wise. The bartender was generally amiable, though it seemed as though the lunch rush was just about to begin, and the staff was preparing to deal with it. As such, friendly and helpful though the were, the staff made sure things were done with a sense of urgency, with the next item on the agenda to follow right away. I didn't feel rushed, but I didn't feel not-rushed either. Weird. Anyway, the beers were generally solid, though nothing really grabbed my attention. It's clear that's the basic MO here, to brew good, semi-traditional beers. I have no problem with that whatsoever, but I could easily think of at least two other offerings in the same style I'd rather have for each beer. (I know I shouldn't have thought that, but it's where my brain went whilst sampling.) Suffice it to say, nothing was either growler- or return-visit-worthy. I didn't try any food and have heard mixed reviews on the pizza (I think it depends on how you feel about thin vs. thick crust and whatnot...and I'm in the latter camp, myself). Prices seemed on par with pretty much every other Cicago brewpub I've been to.
In all, I enjoyed my time at Piece, and have enjoyed a couple visits since, but it's still really not a place I wholeheartedly look forward to visiting, and I never find myself saying "Man, you really need to go to Piece!" I don't mean to knock the place too badly, but I just can't get all that excited about it.
10-03-2012 14:56:30 |
More by TMoney2591
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
The entryway was an inverted V/ triangular/wedge shape, in keeping with their logo. The maitre d station was just inside of the door, with the curved, U-shaped bar at a right oblique. The décor was earthy, with sea-foam green and brick red for the walls and the wood top of the bar had a reddish mahogany tone to it. The left part of the space, facing aft, was mostly high tables and chairs with a bank of benches against the wall. Beyond that was a semi-private party room with some really bright abstract paintings on the wall. Above this space, there was a multi-fretted guitar hanging in the overhead as a nod to part owner Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick. The kitchen was straight back, with the washrooms flanking either side. The serving tanks were visible behind the back bar, through a couple of windows. The front wall, which overlooked North Avenue, had a couple of glass and wood panels that could be folded open in good weather. The ceiling featured a steeply angled skylight that ran well over half of the length of the place. They also used a lot of blackboards to announce such things as Daily Specials, Now Pouring, and Upcoming Events, all in colored chalk. I mention this last because it has inspired me to use colored chalk in the classroom as a way to offset my standard white chalk. Finally, I liked the renditions of King Gambrinus atop the tap stations.
Beers: First off, NO samplers! 8=( I started with their Dysfunctionale, an IPA, followed by Surrender, a Biere de Garde. Both were quite good, but I do not feel qualified to comment on their beers if, like Simple Simon, I was unable to taste their wares. Bah!
10-02-2006 08:23:42 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | $
I dragged some friends here for a drink prior to a planned dinner event because of Piece's medals at WBC and GABF.
We arrived at about 5:30pm. The space seemed large, with an abundant number of televisions. We were only interested in drinking, but the relatively flaky wait-staff let us sit wherever we wished, which ended being between the bar and the kitchen.
There were about 5 homegrown beers on tap, including one (Amarillo Brillo) not shown on the menu (you should check the board above the bar). There was also Three Floyd's, Founder's and Bell's products on "guest taps."
After a slow first round our server was relatively quick with the drinks, which was appreciated.
The place seemed clean and friendly, although the service seemed a bit ditzy and unorganized. The pizza, which we didn't eat, looked awesome.
In future visits to Chicago, I would be willing to re-visit Piece.
12-01-2006 04:30:01 |
More by BeerBelcher
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25 | $$
Went here on a rainy Thursday and it was packed. Not a lot of room to wait for a table. The atmosphere is basically one big square room so it gets pretty loud. Despite that, the beer and pizza was pretty good and the service was great. I would definitely go here again when it's less crowded.
06-19-2013 04:01:26 |
More by heytomcat
Piece Brewery & Pizzeria in Chicago, IL
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