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Taps: 27 / Bottles: 150
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1970 W Montrose Ave
phone: (773) 697-8204
Monday - Friday: 4:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00am
Sunday Brunch: 10:30am - 2:30pm
Sunday: 2:30pm - 2:00am
(Place added by: emerge077 on 04-29-2010)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Opening night! Finally open after a few months of anticipation.
First impressions were very promising all around. Arrived at 5:30 and hung out at the bar as many more patrons streamed in. Inside there were dark wood floors and a nice dark wood bar in the front room. Table seating between the bar, and booths lined the walls. Exposed brick in places, with red walls in the front, and shades drawn on the many windows that face the Montrose/Damen corner. The room was very comfortable, and it was obvious they paid attention to all the details.
At the bar, two chrome tap towers held 13 taps each, with a free standing Lindemans tap and two beer engines. Tap selection was varied with many import and craft gems. Notably Cantillon Kriek, FFF Topless Wytch, Ommegang BPA, Lagunitas Chicago Fusion, New Holland Envious, and a host of others. Bottle selection was also deep with coverage of many styles. I noticed Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze, a Boon Lambic, also a couple from Jolly Pumpkin. As it was opening night, it was draft only for more expedient service. If you've ever been to the Beer School bar at Sheffields, you know you're in capable hands here (same beer guy, Phil).
Service was great at the bar, even as the place filled up with the opening night crowd. Waters were kept full, and there was a crazy selection of glassware. Prices on everything were quite fair, and refreshing to see when so many other "upscale beer bars" tend to gouge.
Food was good, I had the "swine swoon" a pork shoulder sandwich that was very tasty. Frites were crispy and double fried. Hangar steak and pork belly sandwich at the bar looked great too. Hearty food, though they had salads and a couple veg options.
Overall a great new addition to Ravenswood, i'll be going back many times. The rooftop garden will be the place to be this summer...
6/2010: After returning several times, i've noticed they tend to run out of things on the weekends (draft, cask, popular dishes). Bottle list is in place, organized by style. Service has been great.
04-29-2010 01:44:11 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Been here a couple o' times now, and I've enjoyed them both. The vibe is pretty low key, but with a sort of mild arrogance: imagine a nice, neighborhood public house where you can feel free to raise your pinky as high as you damn well please. The servers/'tenders are amiable without going overboard and seem to at least generally know their stuff about the suds they're pouring. The selection tends to be pretty top-notch, though the menus (we're talking both paper and online here) are always behind reality as many things tap rather quickly, apparently. This is not the worst problem in the world, but it does get annoying after a while when you can't order the beers you want. The prices are more than fair, especially considering Chicago is involved. Overall, I really do like this place. If I lived in the area, it would be my neighborhood bar for sure.
07-24-2012 00:38:19 |
More by TMoney2591
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
It must be noted that this was my first time visiting Fountainhead. I know nothing of it's history, ownership, sister bars, etc...
I like the location. It's off some of the main roads, which makes it much more of a destination. The place was not busy when I arrived mid-day Saturday, with a few tables of young folk/business professionals sitting around eating and drinking. The noise level at this point of the day was not overwhelming. The back bar is gorgeous, and they have it stocked with some fantastic whisk(e)y. Some really rare bottles like Cask of Yamazaki 1984, Knappague Castle 1951 ($130 a shot), and Glenfarclas 1951.
It was a very solid beer selection. They had a really great selection of Harvest style pale ales on tap, which at this visit, I was not seeking, so a bit of a let down as far as tap selection goes. They had a Cantillon on tap that kicked 2 ounces into my pour, so the bartender served me the two ounces and I reviewed the bottle list...only to be a bit disappointed. They offered some nice sours on there, including some Cantillon, etc...but nothing that really blew me away. At this point they were also featuring some different brews from craft breweries out of Michigan, many of which I was very familiar with seeing how I'm from Michigan. One Oatmeal Stout from Dark Horse, Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders Imperial Stout...some real nice beers. I ended up ordering a Founder's Imperial Stout, which they were out of, so 0 for 2 at this point.
Due to the huge whisk(e)y selection, I ended up choosing the new Ardbeg Alligator to sip on, and be on my way.
The prices seemed to right in line with the rest of the city...tap selection was vast (although a bit one sided with the Harvest ales during my visit), and great bottle selection (although, I have to disagree with the last reviewer, it is no where near the level of The Hop Leaf).
I did not try any of the food, although the menu look very broad and tasty, I just wasn't hungry. Bright place, nice atmosphere. I will return, and I'm sure won't be disappointed.
10-31-2011 18:50:31 |
More by MarcatGSB
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Stopped by with my girlfriend during a recent trip to Chicago.
VIBE: as soon as we pulled up we were intrigued by the beautiful outdoor facade. Interior resembles a comfortable, rustic, and old-fashioned restaurant with a clean and refined edge. A large display of bourbons, Scottish whiskies, and spirits towers over the bar. Patrons are a chatty and diverse bunch and everybody was enjoying themselves on our visit. A really nice, approachable atmosphere.
SERVICE: our server was incredibly friendly. He helped us along with beer and wine recommendations, talked at length about some of the rarer bottles, and poured me a generous shot of Lagavulin when I ordered a 2008 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale that was aged in barrels of that whisky. Very welcoming and attentive service, which we appreciated.
SELECTION: I had a Half Acre Gossamer and Three Floyds Zombie Dust (!!!) on draught and the aforementioned barley wine out of the bottle. My girl enjoyed her pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. Also noticed Summit EPA on cask, Southampton Cuvee Des Fleurs and Lost Abbey Inferno in bottles, and Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, La Trappe Witte, Petrus Aged Pale, and Pauwel Kwak on tap. The beer list seems smaller than the menus at Map Room and Jerry's, but it's still exceptionally well-rounded.
OVERALL: we had a memorable experience here and it'll be a priority destination for us when we come back to the city. Fountainhead is a quintessential American beer bar, which makes the meaning behind its name (principal source) all the more appropriate. A must-visit in my books.
08-15-2011 19:24:42 |
More by cratez
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$
Visited back in September 2012 on a Monday night. Upon entering at around 8pm, the place was full enough to give it a good vibe...it had a real neighborhood pub feel to it. A place where you could meet friends, have a couple of pints (or a dram of whiskey or three, which I did after one beer. The whiskey selection is way more impressive than the beer selection ever thought of being,) or if you like you could sit there and drown your sorrows all by yourself. I don't think that they had a TV in the place, but if they did, I would like to believe that this would be a place more likely to show English Premier League soccer than anything else. We stayed and had some food, which was perhaps slightly more upscale than your typical pub fare and the service that we received was good. I thought that the prices were reasonable. Like others have stated they have an extensive selection of beers, I had a German marzen that night, followed by some one-off single barrel scotches. The place also has a roof-top bar, which would be great in the summer or even in the early fall in Chicago. Overall, this is a great place and I hope to make it back. If I lived in the neighborhood, this would most defiantly be my local.
01-24-2013 14:22:59 |
More by PhillyStyle
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Fountainhead reminds me of modernized old-school English pub. As mentioned in the previous comments, the restaurant is dominated by dark wood paneling. There are some booths along the widows, a bar towards the interior, and some tables in between. Everything is done up in dark wood and the trim is in black. There is a well thought out chalkboard by the bar that lists the specials.
Atmosphere is very laid back. Reminds me a lot of Hopleaf, but without the crowds, though my visit was in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday. I imagine this place could get packed at night.
Service was attentive and knowledgeable, in regards to both the beer and the food. Food was very good, better than I expected. A nice touch is the cheese plate, which can be ordered with an optional beer pairing. A very nice touch. Also had the pate, mussels and frites, croquettes and the mac and cheese. The only item I was not impressed with were the goat cheese croquettes, which were more like some sort of mutant hush puppy than a true croquette. Overall, the food here is better than Revolution, but not as good as Hopleaf.
Great beer selection, with a nice blend of pale lagers to Imperial stouts. On tap from the States were FFF, 2Bros, HA, New Holland and Left Hand. Imports were a good mix of German, English, and Belgians. Draft beer prices were reasonable, but the bottled beers were high.
I'd also note, minors are allowed in Fountainhead until 8pm. I brought my daughter with me and she had absolutely no issues with the food on the menu. And she's two and a half. Maybe I'm supposed to be pumping her full of mass produced corporate shit (like McDonald's). Then again, maybe I'm just an asshole. Personally, I say if you want to enjoy Fountainhead without any kids around, go after 8pm.
10-17-2010 20:02:51 |
More by Florida9
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3 | $$
A really cool place that is finding its way. The beer list and events are INSANE. The patio upstairs is one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever seen. It is an instant establishment. However, sometimes it feels like the place is trying too hard. Don’t get me wrong, if you are visiting Chicago you absolutely need to visit this neighborhood and stop here, Half Acre Taproom, and Bad Apple.
I’ve had some really odd experiences here. I can’t remember ever liking my food (on 15+ times ordering food here). The chefs have changed a few times, and most recently I was very excited about the new chef who used to own a deli I frequented, but a burger I ordered recently was a fail. Another odd experience here was when a friend of mine asked for "another beer that is similar to the one I am drinking, but not the same beer" because he wanted to explore their expansive beer list. He was drinking a $7 draft, and the server showed up with an open $30 750mL bottle as the "similar" beer. The beer was good and the style was spot on. That wasn’t the problem. The problem is how much of an awkward situation the server put us in. It’s simply unacceptable. I hope those anecdotes don’t deter you from at least trying Fountainhead, but I also hope you are able to get past how weird this place can be so you can enjoy the very impressive beer list, whiskey list, and decor. P.S. If you like this place, check out it’s "older brother" bar, "the Bar on Buena". All the good, but much smaller and neighborhoody.
08-05-2013 03:16:56 |
More by Fluffheady
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
Drove by this place countless times before realizing it was a good beer bar. Always wondered why it was always busy and now I know. Decent sized place with large glass windows. Very dark inside, too dark for my tastes...hard to get a good look at a beer even. Otherwise a classy, clean feel to the place. Very busy again even on the late weeknight I went, had to stand at the end of the bar. Service was fine and it didn't take too long for the bartender to address me. Great beer list-a lot to choose from and all are quality selections. No crap beer at all. Good glassware used. Beer menu has good descriptions and is sorted out well. Also an extensive whisky selection. Will definitely be back.
update: have been here many times since. taplines are always clean and i appreciate the extra rinse with the water thingy. the new(er) rooftop bar is very nice as well. good service overall and the beer guy is super nice and generous. a go-to place. my only critique is the bottle list is pretty dated. food is upscale pub food and pretty good.
12-31-2010 16:27:04 |
More by MrMcGibblets
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Fountainhead was part of a long bar crawl.
There is a very laid back feel to fountainhead. It may have been influenced by it being mid-day on a sunday, but that's just how it was. There was a modernish feel to it, but it was far from sparse while also having the more comforting feel to it.
The service was pretty good. There was only 1 bartender and all of the bar stools filled, but it wasn't hard to get a beer at all. The bartender was also on point with the food (which was very good. The beignets were great and the grits were very good as well)
The location is very easy to get to and the neighborhood is excellent.
01-09-2012 19:13:28 |
More by KDawg
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Fountainhead is like a dark cave, occupied by new yuppies in suits and Stepford wives out for a night on the town. The place may have had food, it may not have. Once I saw Cantillon on-tap, the waitress/waiter/whomever could've been glowing purple with three heads and sixteen eyes, I probably would not have noticed. The Cantillon was ridiculously good. After nursing a couple down, I switched up to Hanssen's Oude Gueuze cask; the server brought me a full pint! I almost fainted from the potency of that particular Oude Gueuze; it is one of the most puckeringly sour things I have ever had. The tap list is amazing, the beer selection is phenomenal. I will definitely be back.
05-12-2011 00:36:38 |
More by ktrillionaire
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Fountainhead in Chicago, IL
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