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Taps: 5 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
2900 W Belmont Ave
phone: (773) 604-8769
(Place added by: gwtucker on 12-18-2005)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 42 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5 | $$$
Out of hand burgers and good craft beer selection. This place is not for people who hate to wait and hate heavy music. During peak times, you can see the line go around the block. Get yourself the Mastodon burger and head bang to the blasting metal music.
06-08-2013 00:16:19 |
More by tbergsli
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Best burgers in the world, probably. Great, if not top-notch beer selection too. Really nice waitstaff and bartenders. Has gotten a little too well known for its own good the last few years, but as long as you ignore the posers, you'll have a great time. The only reason this place doesn't get all fives is because it's always crowded. It takes a bit longer than the usual burger joint trip, but if you're like me and enjoy the music, then it's absolutely fantastic.
06-28-2013 01:51:13 |
More by RMelyon
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$
Kuma's hits just about every mark for me. They serve some of my favorite food ever. I generally like the music. I like the metal folk and a lot of the waitstaff. I talk to the owner and some of the staff at local shows. I go here frequently, so I'll sum up my experiences as a whole rather than just a single visit.
I have to start with the food. This is primarily a burger destination, rather than a beer destination. I've had around half of the burgers, and I've never found any to be less than awesome. All are named after metal bands, and there's a good attempt to theme the burgers accordingly. The Darkthrone and Mayhem are spicier offerings, and the Judas Priest is...effeminate. Pig Destroyer is the BBQ pulled pork, and Hate Beak is the Buffalo chicken sandwich. The food has gained notoriety in local PBS program Check Please, and Playboy magazine. Food starts at $10, but I don't find this to be too high considering how good and filling the meals are.
As a result of such publicity, expect to wait during peak hours. Getting a seat has been easier during the summer months thanks to the outdoor patio. It's not a terribly large place though, and you'll find families and yuppies as well as the heavy metal crowd the place was intended for. If at all possible, head in here no earlier than 8 pm if you want a seat and prompt service. During the later evening it's easier to get seated and served.
The beer list is not massive, but not cluttered with macros and the stable of common Euro imports, either. PBR is the only mass produced beer on the list. Big emphasis on US craft, with a handful of German and Belgian offerings. Seasonal rotation of the main list, with tap offerings changing more frequently. Gets points for having some uncommon offerings like Surly beers and Hop Stoopid. Loses some for a rather low number of taps, and a propensity for them to not work, which happened twice to me in the last two months or so. Prices on beer are high. Aside from PBR at $2.50 (not a steal by any stretch), everything else is $4 and up. There are a few decent offerings at that range, and most of the Great Lakes family at $5, but imports are $6 and up. La Fin Du Monde and Trois Pistoles are pretty good values at that price, but I'd never pay $9 for a 12 oz Tripel Karmeliet or Delirium Tremens. Only a handful of large format beers.
Service is usually very good, but I've seen some flaws. A few of the bartenders are very knowledgeable and willing to talk beer or music with you if things are slow, but others don't always get the glassware right, or don't pour the yeast in from a witbier. Bartenders have offered samples of draft beer many times. During peak hours things are slower and you shouldn't expect anyone to have a word with you beyond what you want to eat or drink.
I dig the atmosphere here more than most beer bars. It's not stuck up or trendy like the Hopleaf, and I even find the Map Room a bit snooty at times. Of course, it helps that Kuma's plays metal music. That's a very broad genre, so they're not always cranking out stuff I like, and it leans heavily towards doom/sludge/stoner stuff. I'd like if they mixed in a bit more thrash and traditional metal, along with a little more of the death and black metal classics. Later at night the music is sometimes way too loud, but it's at a reasonable volume during the day. Expect to see a lot of tattooed metalheads. More of the bearded ones show, rather than long-haired guys. The crowd is pretty male dominated, but there's a pretty decent lesbian turnout as well.
To sum up, this is an outstanding food destination that makes a significant effort to promote craft beer. Beer selection is quite good, and occasionally has something that's hard to get anywhere else. The atmosphere is way outside the norm, and will appeal to some way more than others. Parking is easy, and it's not far from the Blue Line. I don't know of anything else in the neighborhood.
07-28-2008 08:28:04 |
More by ommegoose
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I went to this establishment for the first time yesterday, though I had heard about it months earlier. This is a small place with a lot of charm. The front has a nice bar and a few tables. In back is a good sized patio with full service. We sat at the bar and had really good service from the bartender. There seemed to be quite a few regulars there, though it wasn't crowded. There were people smoking at the bar, but with 2 air purifiers working, we didn't even notice.
The food menu is small, but anyone from vegetarians to meat eaters should find something worth while. I had the Build Your Own Mac&Cheese and it was fantastic.
They had approximately 6 taps, with selections like Two Bros. Cane & Ebel, Laguanitas Censored, and Triple Karmeliet. The bottle selection is wider, though a 22oz of Dreadnaught will put you back $18.
It is easily accessible from the Kennedy and about a 6 block walk from the Belmont stop on the Blue Line. We drove and had no problem finding street parking.
09-07-2006 17:56:59 |
More by BeerPrincess
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Went here for my son's birthday. Very cool place with heavy metal theme. New Harley parked outside with KUMA license plate. Our waitress said it was the Big Guy's. Had some awesome mussels for appetizer. Excellent beer selection. Only mass beer was PBR. Had copies of Beer Advocate magazine for patrons to take. Massive burger menu. I had the Led Zeppelin which had BBQ pulled pork on it. Very small kitchen where you can watch production. Building is a 100 year old Chicago corner pub probably built by a brewer like Schlitz. I'm definitely going back. Very nice and fun service. I have always wanted to own a place like this. My son's girlfriend went with, who is a vegeterian, and the massive smell of burgers didn't sit too well. Great tatoo display by employees and patrons.
07-13-2008 20:33:51 |
More by mayor55
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
The bar is packed constantly, if you only find a 30 min. wait consider your self lucky. The burgers are phenomenal, I finished a burger and fries for supper one night, and was full till supper the next day. They have a great selection of beer in the bottle, and serve it with a pint glass (unless you get PBR). They only have a few beers on tap, but reserve that for some rarer selections. They have a good price spread focusing around $5-7. The atmosphere is not for everyone but just to let you know the burgers are worth the metal music. I have a tendency to like parts of the culture. Definitely a go to stop in Chicago.
09-18-2009 16:00:18 |
More by Wallstreet
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I've been to Kumas Corner twice now. Great metal bar with an awesome selection of brews and the best burgers I've ever tasted! If you're ever in Chicago, this is the place to go. Great atmosphere and great service. Convenient and free parking on the street behind Kumas. I recommend the High On Fire burger!!!
05-09-2013 21:13:49 |
More by Claytonbrewsby
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5 | $$
Amazing burgers! Heavy metal, plenty of ink, great service, and craft brews. They don't even allow the big name beer companies in here. Bring your appetite because all burgers are 10 ounce patties. In addition to the amazing craft beers both bottled and on tap, they have 3 whiskeys on tap. This place is serious. You can't go wrong coming here.
07-01-2013 23:04:53 |
More by BLITZNGRINS
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
As soon as I stepped foot into Kuma's, I felt like I had found my Mecca. After hearing numerous things about them through various friends, both beer bretheren and metalheads alike, I decided that this would be the number one place I NEEDED to visit during my brief stay in Chicago. I arrived a little after 12:30, and was met with the aroma of beef being grilled and the sounds of The Four Horsemen from Metallica. The wait was 45 minutes, but the Gumballhead on tap made that a lot more easy to deal with.
The service has been derided on here quite a bit, but my experience could not have been any better. Our bartender was prompt and well-informed, and our server could not have been nicer. She was fun and easy going and made me and my friend feel welcome.
The decor was awesome! S&M drawings on one wall, limited edition tee shirts on the other, with lithographs and drawings of bears throughout (KUma is Japanese for bear, evidently). I was excited not only because of the theme, but the aromas and sights of what was coming out of the kitchen, as well.
The menu was great, with the aforementioned metal named burgers being the centerpiece. I was torn between the Pantera, Iron Maiden and Slayer. I chose the Slayer and was informed by my server it was a great choice. Boy was she ever right! It ruled. Making the experience even better, Fucking Hostile by Pantera came on literally as my food was placed on my table. If ever there were a song to motivate you to tackle a five pound plate of meat and anger, that song is it! I only got about 3/4 of the monster on my plate eaten and my server was good naturedly ribbing me for it. It paired wonderfully with the Gumballhead to counteract the heat from the peppers and andoiulle sausage. By far one of my culinary highlights of the past year.
The tap list was limited, but stocked with great selections from Three Floyds, Stone, Dogfish and Victory. They also had a bottle list, but I must admit that I didn't really take too much of a look at it. For how small this place is, they do a great job at the selection of beer. They also have a few whiskeys on tap if that is your thing.
Overall, Kuma's is my new number one in terms of places to grab a burger, listen to some harmonic aggression and soak in some scenery. I wish I lived in Chicago just so I could hang out here more often. Love this place!!!
04-16-2010 19:24:58 |
More by Rockatansky
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I have been here at least 30 times and it is by far my favorite place to eat. I have never had better burgers/food in my life. I have tried about 10 burgers about from their and wasn't disappointed with a single one. And considering its heavy metal themed, so all the burgers are names after metal bands and they play metal, thats amazing for me since I'm a huge metalhead. Don't let that sound like bias though, like i am reviewing the place/food good just because they play metal. Not the case, its just a huge plus. Ive recommended this place many people who hate metal and all they talk about is going back ASAP. As far as beers go, they have like 5 or 6 on tap which sometimes change, been the same ones for a little while now though and a large amount of bottled craft beer (never counted but it would take a while to try them all). Ive had to wait for a seat from anywhere between 1 second and 2 hours, just got to know when to get there. 2pm on multiple occasions has seemed to be a no wait time, also very late like 10pm or so will usually get you seated quick. Despite how crowded this place gets I have always had great service and the waitresses have always been able to make good beer recommendations for me.
10-11-2012 18:49:30 |
More by ScreamBloodyGore
Kuma's Corner in Chicago, IL
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