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Taps: 32 / Bottles: 200
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1520 Randall Rd
phone: (847) 658-5520
// CLOSED //
(Place added by: reesepzor on 01-27-2009)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 12
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Alright. The Barley House. What a disappointment in every regard. From hearing about the place I was expecting great things only to be completely turned off to almost every offering they had. My review can really be summed up with the story of going there:
As soon as my girlfriend and I drove up to the light I realized it was the old Claddagh that was closed for serving to minors on several occasions. Fine, maybe they reworked the interior design. Entered the Barley House. Nope. Same exact place from what I could tell. I was not impressed in the least bit.
We sat down and weren't approached for a few minutes. Our waiter was a very cool guy but he had absolutely no knowledge on beer. He brought me the "18 page beer menu with 250 beers" oooh! Not impressed here either. I spent 10 minutes looking through it before deciding what to order but I asked him, "what's you're best beer here?"
"120 Min. IPA" What? Are you kidding? $15 for the pour I recall. "OK, second best"
"Bell's Hopslam" Uhm, $10 a glass was total B.S. That sixpack was $16 at Binny's (for about a day before the whole pallet was gone).
I ordered a La Fin du Monde and asked for the bottle and glass. I got a La Fin du Monde glass which was surprising. So far its going ok. Then I find out our server drinks nothing but Jameson because he has an "allergic reaction to hops". He tried telling me about a beer which he clearly had no idea about but I let him talk.
I ended up reviewing the whole beer menu and was not impressed at all. The selection was large yes, but lacking in diversity for a place serving 250 beers. Most of it was from domestic micro-brews and generally it was just a lot of beer from a few breweries. The prices were totally outrageous too. $10 12oz Bell's Hopslam, $20 750 ml Sam Adam's Chocolate Bock (which aside from their lawnmower beers section with Shiner Bock, was the only Bock on the list) and a $40 bottle of Old Crustacean by Rogue.
I don't know if I'll really go back there. The atmosphere was lacking, (sort of sports bar-ish) the beer was all served cold, when I ordered a draft the pour was total garbage, the staff (at least my server) didn't really know jack about beer, the appetizer seemed mediocre, and the prices rape you.
Go to Binny's and buy all the beer for about 1/2 the price and save yourself the headache of low-level lighting which doesn't allow you a proper view of the beer anyway.
[Since my review I've been back a few times and have amended my review. Thankfully they lowered some of their prices on large bottles (as noted by the latest review with the Old Crustacean price difference) and had two separate servers who both were much, much better than the first experience I had. Needless to say, it's really not bad, just mediocre. Also, since being back a few times, I've enjoyed the place a little more but still have a hard time ordering. The last 2 times I've been, they've been out of the first three beers I ask for, no joke.]
04-04-2009 15:51:00 |
More by BeerFMAndy
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
McHenry county has been in desperate need of a true beer place for quite some time now. Unfortunately, the Barley House is not that place. Actually, it's closer to a nursing home cafeteria with a beer list.
This is not a place for true beer geeks. This is simply a large, chain-like restaurant trying to take advantage of the current trendy nature of craft beer. A poorly run and managed one at that. For example:
Most of the beers are in bottles
What few are on tap are nothing really special - no seasonals or anything exotic, just "microbrews" as they like to call them
All the beers are served at the same temp - extremely cold.
The glassware is not handwashed, and is not appropriate to the beer served in many cases, though my wife ordered a Delirium and received the correct glass.
The bartenders can't pour - I ordered a pint of Surly Furious and received 1/2 glass of foam. I promptly requested a repour. We sat at the bar and saw glass after glass of 1/2 foam being poured. Guys, tilt the glass, it's not rocket science!
The employees don't know dick about beer. Just for kicks I asked "what's the difference between a stout and a porter?" Blank stare. "um, I'll have to check". He never did get back to me...
The attention to detail and professionalism in general is horrendous. Consider the beer menu: there are so many typos, grammatical errors and mis-categorizations that it's obvious it wasn't prepared by someone who knows anything about craft beer. They actually managed to misspell Guinness and Heineken! Come on! There's signs on several walls! Just look up! Also, Anchor Steam is NOT a Munich Helles... *sigh*
Even though the BH has been open only a few weeks, the place is filthy. The wine bottles in back of the bar were coated with a thick layer of dust.
The food is neither horrible, nor memorable. It's basic, reheated crap straight off the Sysco truck and comparable to any other mass-market casual restaurant such as Chili's, Applebee's, etc. There's little cooking being done here. It's simply reheat stuff as fast as possible to shove it out the kitchen door. The one difference being that the prices are significantly higher than the chains. That goes for beer prices too.
Don't get me wrong, I want businesses (well, good businesses) to make money, but there's a point where fair profit becomes downright greedy gouging. The Barley House wants $10 per 12 oz. bottle of Bell's Hopslam and Expedition Stout! Yes, it's a seasonal, but Binny's sells a sizer for $16. Assuming BH pays around $10 for a sixer, that's $50 profit! That my friends, is gouging plain and simple.
In short, pass on the BH. Spend the extra 10 or so minutes and head over to Emmett's or MT Barrels, both of which feature better food, better service, and are more professionally managed.
02-08-2009 12:32:36 |
More by datamike
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Barley House in Algonquin, IL
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