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Active Beers: 0
Beer Ratings: 0
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Taps: 12 / Bottles: 20
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
205 N Broadway
phone: (630) 264-2739
// CLOSED //
Located at Walter Payton's Roundhouse Complex
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 22
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
I went there with my wife and daughters and we enjoyed ourselves but was not over joyed. This is a great place with several bars and a couple of restaurants. The food was average at best. The beers ranged from good to very good. We enjoyed the honey wheat, the coffee stout and the best by far was the bourbon barrel barley wine, which was excellent. I would say to avoid the amber ale it had some diacteyl infection coming out as the beer warmed, so it tasted of butter. Go for the atmosphere and to see the Walter Payton museum not necessarily the food or the beer.
01-05-2008 02:43:31 |
More by qcbeerguy
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | $$
i've been here numerous times, but each time to see a show. as such the review may be skewed as it's always jam-packed when i go and i'm drinking a more limited selection of their beers outside or in an event room. have never sat down in the main restaurant or bar area. first off, the atmosphere is phenomenal. this place is built in the old train roundhouse, so it's a circular building with a large open center area. this large open-air center area is a great place to see shows in the summer, with bands playing in a large veranda in the middle of the courtyard. there are also a couple large bars outside. the only problem with this is that they only serve 3-4 of their beers out there and in plastic cups...when you're out there for a show, most people are drinking bud lites (for pretty much the same price as roundhouse brews...wtf?) out of plastic/metal bottles. so in this case it's more of a summer entertainment environment than a place to enjoy craft brews...that being said, it's the rare show i go to where craft beers are an option. the beers i've had there have been a bit underwhelming. if you're catching a show inside it's basically the same as above, except, well, it's inside. if you are inside, you can at least sneak off to another bar inside and get different beers. if you're a bears fan, you must check out the walter payton museum located here. overall, this place is huge and you can spend a while just walking around the complex and checking out the different shit. definitely worth going, and some day i may sit down and review some beers and try the food.
06-23-2007 18:24:08 |
More by MrMcGibblets
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I grew up in the aurora area and I have been to Payton's a couple of times when returning to visit family. The mainstays of their beer selection is nothing really special, but also nothing terrible. The nice thing is that they typically have a couple of interesting brews rotating into the mix with the standard selections. When i was there last week i had an oatmeal cream stout off a nitrogen tap and a cherry imperial stout. Both were good, but the cherry imperial stout was really excellent. The downside is that it was a bit pricey at 8 bucks for a 10 ounce pour.
Aside from the 8 dollar cherry imperial stout, the prices are decent. Just remember that this place is a huge complex that houses an outdoor concert venue, a nice (and expensive) restaurant, a comedy club, and a few halls for special events as well as a bar. Just go in the main door and enter the bar on your right. You can seat yourself at a table or the bar. As long as you stick to the bar menu you can get a really good burger or pizza for under 10 bucks. Keep in mind that the place is packed on the weekends.
02-23-2007 17:41:36 |
More by anormal
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
As a rail fan, this place ranks high on my list for its combination of accessibility (via METRA) and reuse of a former train station. It is in one section of the former Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF) roundhouse, which has been converted to include a beautiful patio area with a central gazebo where the turntable would have been. The patio also features a stone fireplace, which must be pleasant in the fall.
The front door is accessed down a short flight of steps from the METRA station, under a big awning, supported by steel girders. Once I was inside, I transited a vestibule with the maitre d station (m. d. s.) straight ahead and the Roundhouse Coffee Company stand to the left. The smell of the coffee was mighty enticing, but I had a beer mission to accomplish. Behind the R. C. Co. was the grain mill, the brewhouse and the fermenters.
Turning right from the m. d. s., I ascended a short flight of steps, transited a wood floor, and arrived at the rectangular wooden bar. Flanking either side of the bar were high tables and chairs and up another short flight of stairs to the right, were a bunch of booth seats that extended all of the way to the end of the space. At the opposite end of the bar from the m.d.s. was a smaller-scale stone fireplace. To the right of the bar was a staircase that led to a second floor seating area that not only ringed the bar, but also continued aft on the right-hand side, culminating in a grand, sweeping staircase that led to the kitchen, all of the way aft on the first floor.
To the left of the m.d.s. and proceeding aft, there was a sea of restaurant seating. Speaking of proceeding aft, that is where the washrooms were located and it gave me a different view of the layout as I went to use the facilities. The serving tanks were visible in the overhead, above the entryway. For FroggyFrog: they made a Hemp Stoned beer using rocks. It can and has been done. Also back towards the washrooms were an impressive Walter Payton Hall-of-Fame museum and a cognac bar! Wow.
Beers: The Amber, Honey Wheat, and the Sweetness Stout all were decent, but not mid-blowing. I have to give them props, however, for making a sweet stout. Kudos! The Oompa Loompa Chocolate beer was interesting and unexpected, but not my bag. Their Hair of the Dog barleywine struck me as bit young. It was still awfully sharp with a lot of malt up front. Aged, I am sure that this will be a beauty. The Payton Pilsener was quite good and I would have stayed with it, were it not for their IPA.
Lunch consisted of fish tacos, and while they were not quite up to Rubios standards, it had been a long while since I had eaten fish tacos. The IPA made a wonderful accompaniment to the meal.
B.Is Mom test: Oh, my, yes! The architecture, the food, and the fact that she could have coffee or pop as an option shes in. How about as a date destination? Hell, yeah! You wouldnt have to drive and the place is friendly and non-intimidating.
Finally, this was another great place for a Woody encounter. I was talking to a former Marine who was also a CHISox fan, plus his buddy, a dead ringer for Gary Monterosso, and their wives. Great people.
10-01-2006 16:43:48 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
As an Auroran for over a decade, I've been to the Roundhouse plenty of times. I had taken the leap from BMC to bottled craft- and euro-brews years before, but this joint helped me make the next step to understanding why a place where you're drinking straight out the conical was such a fine idea.
As mentioned by others, this is the old Burlington Northern RR main roundhouse, where steam locos were built and maintained. This place naturally oozes more atmosphere than the ten nearest Rock Bottoms can ever hope to fabricate. All the brews are very good here, and can meet the palate of the novice (Payton pilsner) and the malt junkie (Scotch Ale) with equal dexterity. They offer the usual beer sampler platter if you're indecisive. The food is of very good quality without being too adventurous, and many of the entrees are made using one of the local brews as a base for the sauce. The ribs are worth the trip even if you don't drink.
Service is usually good and attentive, and it is evident that the waitstaff is educated about the brews they serve before they're set loose.
When it first opened, they ran a Sunday breakfast buffet to die from (yes, from.). Lord what good food in such variety and no one to tell me to stop. Somebody get me a bucket! No this is too good for that! I've gotta stop now 'cause I can't breathe! I'd go home and beach like whale for the rest of the afternoon. After the first two years they stopped making it a weekly event, which has probably helped me avoid stomach-stapling. They've offered this buffet since then at least for Mother's Day and sometimes once a monthly basis. If you see it, don't hesitate, just go.
This joint also has a banquet facility within another section of the roundhouse. We had our wedding reception in 2003 at the Roundhouse, and we never regretted that decision. Never. They offered an a per-plate package that included a four-course meal, several good entrees to select from, including a quality vegetarian plate and a kids plates, the wedding cake, four hours of open bar (and taps), and use of several auxiliary rooms for the bridal party. All was done very professionally and honestly. When it's time to marry off our kids, this place will be at the top of the list of reception venues. We had the entire banquet bar to ourselves, and their beer flowed. We had the perfect reason for not having any BMC harnwasser to contaminate the event, too. For a BA that has to host an event in the west 'burbs, I can't imagine a better venue.
09-11-2006 22:48:56 |
More by MillRat
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Well, the first thing one would notice about this joint is that it actually is freakin round. The building is a circle, with an outdoor area in the center of the circle. Another thing that I want to point out is that it took 3 tries to pick the right driveway to pull into, there is a bus and train station virtually connected to the place, and it did lead to a little bit of confusion. I thought to myself that I was glad I wasn't drinking before I got there, or I never would have picked the right one.
The atmosphere is actually pretty stunning. Aside from being round, which is pretty neat, the walls are all made of old stone and giant, rough peices of wood. On the wall on one side of the dining area there is a giant tapestry of bears dancing. The brew kettles are actually off to one side of the same space the dining room is in, which is nice, because everything is in plain view. All of the tables and seats are all very nice as well, and fit really well with the rest of the atmosphere. There is also the comedy club, banquet facilities, and the Walter Payton Museum all in the same building, none of which I really got to check out since I only went for lunch.
The beer selection was fair, I think they had around 8-10, though half of them were on a seperate menu that I actually found on the floor after I had already ordered my first. The quality of the beer was about average. The place is in Aurora afterall, and it was actually much better than I expected. The food was little sub-par though. It just didn't grab me, and had the food been better, I would really have to say this place is amazing.
I'll certainly be back to this place.
05-21-2006 06:25:31 |
More by zjungleist
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
So, after blowing $50 at the nearby casino boat, I decided to spend my money on something more valuable: great beer! It's been a while since I visited the 'Roundhouse' as us locals call it, and despite the 40 minute drive from my house near Chicago to the outer fringes of suburbia, it's always nice to visit "the house that Walter Payton built".
It was just a quiet Tuesday evening, and I popped in for a couple of drinks. The 'House is a circular structure with a beautiful courtyard lit with multiple fireplaces. One can walk around the perimeter of the building, finding several rooms which serve various purposes: private parties, a cigar bar, a dance bar, a Walter Payton/Chicago Bears shrine, etc. It seems every time I visit the Roundhouse, it always just looks better and better, and the quality of the beers likewise increase. I was most pleased this time around, too. On this trip, however, I just decided to belly up to the main bar just inside the front doors, chatted up bartender John and an attractive lady, Sarah, sitting next to me at the bar.
For my first beer, I had the special of the day: $2.50 pint of their amber ale. Yeah, I kinda loathe a generic term like 'amber ale', but I could forgive them for being dull on the name; in reality, this is a solid, well-crafted bronze ale with a nice hope nose, a complex malty/caramel-ly middle, and a fairly dry finish. Just a good beer to begin a tasting session with.
I moved from there to their schwartzbier. What a nice dark lager this brew was! Actually quite light-bodied, and very drinkable, this beer nevertheless was fairly complex on the palette with a rotating chocolate/roastiness combination. Yum.
Although I asked John about the brewmaster's current special beer, the Scotch ale, he suggested something else because the SA was not pouring very well (lots of foam). Although initially disappointed with his suggestion, my consolation prize was of high caliber: the Imperial Stout. Clocking it at 9.7%abv, this pint took me a while to work through. Unlike the lighter-bodied schwartzbier, this Big Bertha beer was quite complex, full-bodied, creamy and had lots of tastes going on. Although heavy on the malt (to be expected), it still had a hop presence primarily in the aroma. Despite pleasant springtime weather, which would generally make me look for a less-impacting brew, this was still a tasty choice to end the night with.
So, for visitors to Chicago, I recommend that you try and find your way to the Roundhouse. If you're staying in downtown Chicago, simply find the suburban commuter rain station, Metra, and take the line to Aurora. When you reach the end of the line station at Aurora, exit the train and...voila!...you'll be smack dab at the Roundhouse. How convenient!
05-10-2006 16:27:43 |
More by RedBaron
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
We dropped into the Roundhouse to spend our 50 dollar gift certificates that we purchased for 25 bucks through some radio show. It was a long day of drinking and eating starting around 3 and ending sometime after dark.
I think that the atmosphere here is pretty neat. The ceilings are really high and the building seems restored, but still raw. There is a cool beergarden with outdoor fireplaces outside in the middle part of the roundhouse. The brewery is open to the rest of the restaurant, and all the tanks are visible from the bar where we sat.
The bar is a circular one that sits directly under the second floor balconies. It started getting a little smoky after dark (which is to be expected).
The service at the bar was very good. Bartenders were quick and efficient.
There were about 8 beers available. Everything from lighter pilsners to an Imperial Stout. All of the beers were very good (there were a few of us who weren't really happy with the chocolate beer though - but that is more of a personal taste thing). I could sit and drink the Porter all day long. The Amber was surprisingly hoppy and fresh. But the Imperial Stout was easily my favorite of the day. They had a +10% Scotch Ale that was almost as strong as a mixed drink. I only had a taste, and it was a good beer.
All pints were $3.75 (even the Imperial Stout) and the big Scotch Ale was $4 because of the alcohol content.
I will be back to Walter Payton's, it was well worth the money spent and the ride out from the city! Walter Payton's is also very convenient to the Metra.
04-23-2006 19:30:46 |
More by beerinator
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
America's Brewing Company offers a beautiful restaurant with nice chairs, tables, chandeliers, stone walls, etc., and comfortable spaces (not too crowded or too open, etc) for dining. The brewhouse is visible as well if you want to take a look. The service is the usual (it's a family style restaurant), and they serve pretty good food and a handful of decent beers. The menu is pretty varied as well, although vegetarian dishes are fairly limited (as is normally the case). I really enjoyed myself and I certainly think it's worth a trip if you're in the area.
02-24-2006 16:54:00 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Atmosphere- This is an amazing old train roundhouse that was turned into a pub, cognac bar, brewery, and museum. It has great old stonewalls with a wonderful courtyard for band and an outdoor bar. The woodwork is dark but a giant tapestry of dancing bears really breaks up all the stone. You actually walk past the brewery on your way to the bathroom and it is well labeled. You can see which beers are coming out next. Great atmosphere.
Quality- The beer is mostly geared toward the general public and not the BA. The beer menu had sayings like this beer has all the alcohol of a stout with the caffeine of coffee and If you love Killians Red you will love this beer. This is why they only bottle their Pilsner and Pilsner light for which they have one several awards. Many of the other brews do not sell as well. They did have a full bar and a big machine that mixed Appletini mix like the old juice machines at the convenient stores. That was a bit strange.
Service- The service was good but I went on a very slow day. Still very friendly and not much discussion about the beers.
Selection- They did have 4 year-round beers and 5 seasonals which was a nice variety. They also had a good diversity of glassware for most of the beers, which was a pleasant surprise.
Food- The pulled pork barbeque was very sweet and sticky but the menu offered some Italian German and Mexican inspired bar food. Not bad but a little pricey for bar food.
Value- The beers were reasonably priced but the food was a bit over-priced. But the atmosphere makes it all worth the stop.
09-16-2005 20:03:20 |
More by rhoadsrage
America's Brewpub in Aurora, IL
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