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Bangers & Lace
Taps: 32 / Bottles: 70
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1670 W Division St
phone: (773) 252-6499
Monday - Friday: 11:00 am - 2:00 am
Saturday: 11:00 am - 3:00 am
Sunday: 11:00 am - 2:00 am
Open 365 days a year.
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
We stopped in here after a recent trip to the city to see Social Distortion play at the Vic.
We didn't exactly "dress up" for the concert, but our t-shirts and jeans didn't get the unwelcome glances I expected after seeing the interior and the attire of the other patrons... The inside is sleek and minimal-- concrete, ducts, pipes, very clean.
We all ordered a pint of FFF Snow Weasel and a "Fall Punch" for my wife. The beer was served slightly too cold, but warmed up just fine. Proper glassware was used and proper head was present. My wife's drink was strong. Surprisingly strong.
Anyway-- it was quite crowded being that it was Friday night around midnight so we decided to cut out without getting any food. The menu looked pretty good though.
The beer selection was pretty nice, and the prices were pretty average for the area. It took quite a while before a bartender got around to us... but I suppose that's to be expected in most bars in the city on a friday night (which is why I don't usually go to bars in the city!)
Overall-- I would certainly make this a place to stop by if I could manage a lunch meeting here... The mid-20s hipster-yuppies packed the place on a Friday night.
10-29-2012 04:00:43 |
More by AleWatcher
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Going off a recommendation that pressed that Bangers & Lace is a top notch beer joint, we joined the dinner crowd here as a place for our own pre-dinner drinks. Certainly glad that our gps knew what was going on because the austere modern-clad, art decco inspired storefront seems abstract and hardly denoted the venue inside. We felt somewhat lucky to find a parking spot on the street just in front of the door and close to free-parking time of day. Otherwise, I see parking here to be a real chore.
But once inside, the chic-urban attitude of art gallery openness with modern task lighting design, exposed concrete, brickwork, and duct work plays into the overall minimalism vs. sleek moments in its architecture and interior design. The clean and linear personality seems to work well for the yuppies who were clearly off work but seemed to really, really like wearing their coats and ties.
A pregnant waitress took our order quickly and efficiently and without much more of a welcoming word. The dedicated menu doesn't try to give everyone everything, but offers a few quality choices that's free of swill, wells, or discount-type beverages. Quality and rotation shines here. The beers that we enjoyed here were Thornbridge Jaipur IPA, Mikkeller Hop Burn Higho, Local Option American Muscle, and Three Floyds Ham on Rye- all are served in a well-intended glass, properly filled and headed, and with care and art. The bartender obviously cares about how the beers are presented. The draft menu seems to span about 30 beers and seem to rotate as to offer a constant variety. The menu has all the right info: price, ounces, and descriptions.
The menu also boasts a few food options that seems to be as artistic as the bar- hot dogs and pretzels seem to be dressed up to some extend to have them stand out from anyone else. But we passed by the food for pizza to come later.
Overall, the experience here is very clean and sleek. Although the after work crowd seemed a bit cliquish and mildly pretentious, the staff seems to handle the patronage well. For me, I will likely stop by at a less key time and sit at the bar to get a better feel of the place and establish a conversation with the bartenders.
06-15-2012 19:47:43 |
More by BEERchitect
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Bangers & Lace is great. Very convenient location, 30+ taps, great selection of beer, interesting food. They have a "six-pack" deal where you can try 6 of their beers (2.5oz tastes) for $9.00. The six-pack is determined by bangers so you don't get to choose 6 from the list, but the chosen beers are usually unique/hard-to-find-in-stores/high abv.
Bartenders could be a bit more attentive, but they are juggling a lot so I'll give them a break. The food has always been good, although super rich (good for beer-pairing). Beers go for anywhere from $6 - $9. Cool, relaxed atmosphere. Definitely recommended.
03-29-2012 02:02:46 |
More by dlello2
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
Not sure why this place did not make the beer guide for Chicago. I would put it on the list for sure.
They have 30 taps and 50 plus bottles, all quality stuff. This place has a mIx of american micros and Belgians on tap. Bottle list was heavy on Belgians with a number of US micro/Belgian collaborations available.
The bartenders were attentive and helpful.
Did not eat, but food on menu was gourmet sausage based, including duck, venison and foire gras (sp?).
Will definitely go back there again.
03-22-2012 06:27:04 |
More by Philby11111
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I've been to bangers&lace several times now and really enjoy it. They usually have around 25 beers on tap with the beers being pretty wide and diverse.
Their bottle list was really good and the prices were very fair. I was able to get a bottle of bam noire for $20. The draft list is a bit more on the expensive side, but I'm more than willing to pay since the selection is so good.
The service has generally been pretty good when I've come here. I haven't been here when it's real busy, but I've never had a problem getting a beer when needed
11-08-2011 04:08:23 |
More by KDawg
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
B&L is not very flashy and I almost wasn't sure I had arrived at my destination when I found it. Very simple place. The open air front made for a great afternoon of sitting and enjoying a beer. Not too many people there so it was nice and relaxing. It rained too, which was a nice plus to have the fresh smell and the soft sounds outside.
32 taps which is quite impressive. A decent selection of home town brews mixed with some of the more recent national releases. Their bottle selection was quite impressive. Stuff I would expect to see in people's cellar, not at a bar. The bottles are kind of expensive, especially for the bombers of stuff that you see on the menu that you feel you should probably order it since you probably won't find it anywhere else.
The staff is very polite and knowledgeable. They know what they're doing. Really nice and have no problem having a conversation, or just leaving you be if that is what you desire.
Didn't try the food, but I've heard fantastic things about it. One of these days I hope to partake. Will definitely be looking this place up again next time I'm downtown.
08-19-2011 03:03:31 |
More by cjacobsen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Bangers and Lace allows me to participate in one of my favorite Chicago summer activities - drinking beer outside. With a large tap selection and a fair amount of bottles as well, this would have the beginnings of a great beer bar.
The best part about the beer menu is the Six Pack, were you can get 6 2 oz. samples for $9, normally of an interesting mix of beers.
Right now, I think it is a few steps away from being in the category of great beer bars I would visit regularly. The service is all right, although I have normally gone during off-peak hours, so that might have an impact. The prices on the tap list are coincidentally all $1 too expensive for an equal or smaller pour than other bars around.
The food leads me to the same conclusion - there is nothing inherently bad about the quality, but I am left wondering why it costs so much, considering it is pretty average. Mostly consisting of sausage products, the menu is also not very substantial.
This is the type of place I will head if they have something special on tap, but it will not become one of my regulars.
07-06-2011 20:20:43 |
More by KickInTheChalice
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
I was excited to see this place finally open up - it's a mere 5 minute walk (stumble?) from my home. The interior is nicely done, I think, though I don't know if it's the most efficient layout, in terms of tables and chairs. I've gone early in the afternoon and the place is dead - while I enjoy a quiet bar on a Sunday afternoon for a late lunch, it's a little unnerving when you're the only one there. It's still new and I'm sure folks are still discovering it.
As far as the food.... it's fine. It's best to think of B&L as a bar with food (rather than a restaurant). The menu consists of sausages and hot dogs, for the most part. There are the obligatory fries and onion rings (both very good) as well has a handful of other options. I don't know if it's the best value - $12 will get you a decent sausage and a huge order of fries with a taleggio cheese dip. Vegetarian sausages come with a $1 surcharge, though I don't know why.
The beer, though, is where B&L really shines. They have 30+ taps and often have some harder to find options (barrel-aged Gonzo Porter from Flying Dog comes to mind). There's a broad list from around the world (as opposed to focusing solely on domestic craft beer). Prices are fine and the glassware always appropriate. They offer $2 tasters @ 2oz. so you can build your own flight.
The last time I was there, I asked to try some of the Fade To Black - smoked beers aren't always my favorite and I didn't want to commit to a full glass (or even a 2oz. tasting). The bartender said that he's not really allowed to serve tastes of beer and it was a *really, really* big deal that I got half an ounce of beer for free. Topping it off, I think they just pull descriptions from BA - he described the Fade To Black as a Foreign Export Stout - we all know that the volume 2 version is a Smoked Baltic Porter. My only real point being that he didn't know the beer.
They have a nice selection of spirits, too, but I wouldn't try and order a drink that's not on their published list. The one time I tried to order a cocktail, I was told they don't go off-menu. Your mileage may vary.
Service (see above) was eh. Not quite enough staff, I think, for the volume - but again, it's new, and I'm sure they don't want to have staff hanging out with nothing to do. They have a cicerone on staff and she is nothing but lovely. They also have a staff member like the bartender above who doesn't know what he's talking about and seemed more interested in keeping his waxed handlebar mustache intact than providing decent service.
Overall, the beer list is impeccable and it's a comfortable space. The food could be a little better considering the price and the service really depends on the bartender/server. You would have to head further down Division to Jerry's or Smallbar to get something similar - if you're nearby and thirsty, it's worth giving it a shot.
01-08-2011 00:45:05 |
More by danimalarkey
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Olga tracked down this place is a great recommendation to hit up after FoBAB. Great location on Division, close to my house and other hot spots. The inside looked new and very modern decor mixed with folksy cabin in the woods art (metal art and stuffed animals. The bathroom is very cool as the wood is so new it smells freshly cut. A decent amount of drafts and bottles, however the selection and quality isn't the greatest. A ton of basic staples beers but I had a difficult time spotting stuff I either hadn't had or wasn't easily available anywhere else. The highlight of this place is the food; high end sausage joint. Deluxe offerings such as a foie gras corn dog, and ham peanuts. All the food was tasty and there several options that I would come back to try. The biggest disappointment about this place was the service. Our server seemed totally disinterested in helping us and didn't know a damn thing about beer. She could not offer basic suggestions as to what was tasting good on tap right now, or even have suggestions. If you want to be a beer place gotta have better service.
This is a must stop for a meal and decent beer, probably wouldn't come just to get a drink though.
11-07-2010 14:45:42 |
More by jrallen34
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Back to my old stomping grounds, West Division Street has changed a lot, even in the last ten years. Nelson Algren probably wouldn't recognize it today. Gone are the derelict storefronts and package goods dive bars, enter boutiques and bars like this one. The hanging metal sign out front reads B&L in a cryptic script.
Once inside, it's an open space, fairly modern, with ironic details to evoke a folksy charm, yet some elements come off as somewhat more isolated and sterile than rustic. Taxidermied animals perch atop a wooden cabinet storing a rotating selection of six 1/6th barrels, wall mounted deer head: check, lace curtains, brown glass chandeliers, lots of wood. The back hall to the restroom actually still smelled like the fresh cut wood planks it was paneled with. More inviting elements of the place: the pot belly stove in the back room with idyllic rural scenes painted overhead along the walls, and the comfortable bar.
Beer selection was good, some exclusive drafts like Goose Island Minx, Palo Santo, and Leipziger Gose. Draft and food menu were combined, and the bottle list was separate. Both were well designed, listing prices and tasting notes. The only thing missing was the size of each pour, which varied from 8 oz. to 16 oz. US craft was the main focus, rounded out with German, Belgian, and English imports. Other unique drafts: Meantime Stout, Jacobins Rouge, and Petrus Aged Pale. Certainly not a "typical" selection. The 32 draft lines were set into the brick wall, with uniform wooden handles and numbered plaques, which reminded me of the Publican.
Service was good, Eric the spirits director was our bartender. He offered samples of the drafts and was friendly and helpful. Never had a problem getting samples on several visits.
Food was good, mostly high end bar food... sausage-focused. Think Hot Dougs and Franks N' Dogs. Venison sausage was tasty, as was the pretzel with stout mustard, and the fries with a taleggio sauce were especially good.
A welcome addition to a transitioning, nearly 100% gentrified neighborhood.
Other nearby options: Piece, Jerry's, Smallbar, Handlebar, Rodan, Moonshine.
11-04-2010 03:22:22 |
More by emerge077
Bangers & Lace in Chicago, IL