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Clark Street Ale House
Taps: 25 / Bottles: 50
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]
742 N Clark St
phone: (312) 642-9253
Monday - Thursday: 4pm - 4am
Friday - Saturday: 4pm - 5am
Sunday: 5pm - 4am
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 88
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Was there early evening prior to dinner with friends. Atmosphere was typical but yet had a nice vibe. Was the first night of Goose Island tap domination. Not a large crowd, but once again was there around 6 pm so I'm sure things picked up later.
Ordered a Goose Island Vanilla Bourbon County Stout which was served in a 8 oz. water glass which was similar to what was in my hotel bathroom - not impressed.
Service was fair at best as there was one waitress on duty for the whole bar and my glass sat empty. After having it happen twice, I left and went to Haymarket Pub.
09-30-2011 00:39:16 |
More by Illiniphil
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I was in town for business a block away at Moody Bible College and took advantage of the logistics to make a long-overdue visit to Clark St. Ale House.
Really nice historic and well decorated interior. Probably one of the nicest atmospheres for a beer bar I can recall.
As far as beers go, they have a great selection of regional beers but nothing uber rare like one may find at Publican, Map Room, or Hop Leaf. I checked the beer menu online in advance and had my heart set on a Capital Maibock as I'm currently brewing that style. Upon arrival, they were out so I consulted the chalk board and was told the printed menu was more up to date. I settled for the Three Floyds Alpha King.
I managed to misplace my notes of beer available. One thing I do remember is the bottle list had GI Bourbon County Stout and DFH WW Stout (for $12 a bottle which is a steal for a bar in Chicago - I pay $9 for a bottle in Kentucky).
The place was pretty empty and two people had brought their dogs in and let them run around which I thought was cool/European.
This is the kind of beer place you could easily take a group of non beer geeks if you were downtown Chicago for a conference or some event. It's close and has a very good line up.
03-11-2011 19:42:18 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Walked in during the afternoon, right as they were opening. Not surprisingly I was the first and only one in there for a little while. I picked a stool at the long bar right by the taps. Everything was made of wood and looked kind of old and broken in.
They have a number of taps and some interesting selections. The girl working the bar was nice enough to set me up with a flight, a free sample, and a pint. They have a house beer called Clark Street Pale Ale that is apparently made by 2 Brothers.
Over all the service was very good, but again, I was the only in there at that point. Who knows what it's like when it fills up. Prices were good. Nice little place to stop in and get a beer if you are downtown.
Also, I did happen to run into another BA there. Kind of random but made the experience that much more enjoyable.
01-31-2011 03:35:29 |
More by t0rin0
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I am kind of surprised at some of the negative reviews for Clark Street Ale House.
First, yes this is a neighborhood bar, nothing fancy, but a nice homey atmosphere.
The beer selection was decent. I stuck with Bigfoot, but there were several other worthwhile selections. The most interesting thing was they had a crockpot of a delicious warm local mead, just what I needed after a cold walk to the place.
No food, but our bartender made a decent suggestion, Kerrymans up the street.
Our service was fine on two visits.
12-10-2010 16:25:20 |
More by wingedeel
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Nice selection, good atmosphere, lousy service. Visited here early on Monday evening for a few beers before a Bulls game and my wife and I were literally the only people in the bar when we walked in. The bartender could still barely be bothered to talk to us and clearly didn't really know much about the beers he was serving. He even disappeared for a solid 20 minutes later in the evening when more people were there. I even tried calling the bar from my cell phone to no avail. I would have just left if I hadn't have given him my credit card to open a tab. Wonder why you would want to be a bartender in a place like this if you don't like people or good beer?
11-12-2010 01:09:25 |
More by ARSmythe
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
A Chicago institution and yes, maybe a little over-rated, but this is still one of the better beer bars in the city. The beer selection is extensive, but does seem to stay pretty regional and there is not much that can't be found at your neighborhood Binny's.
The service was good. The atmosphere is very forgettable, kinda divey at best. Seems like it is time for a bit of an update.
The whiskey selection seems really impressive. I know little to nothing about whiskey, but my buddy does, another BA, and he was happy with it. So there's always that if you want to mix it up. So while I never go out of my way to drink here, I stop by when in the neighborhood.
10-14-2010 01:12:45 |
More by Czap
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Walked the mile or so from downtown to give this place a try. Cozy with a long narrow layout. Good Midwest-oriented selection with locals Three Floyds and Two Brothers with national offerings like Allagash and DFH and a few out of the area brews like Bridgeport. A nice relaxed, comfortable atmosphere without pressure from the waitstaff. Not crowded and not overly noisy. Prices are reasonable at $6 a pour. I enjoyed my stop here although I wish the selection was a bit more robust and original. I would stop back to see what else they had to offer on another trip if I was staying downtown again.
10-05-2010 04:16:31 |
More by argock
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I used to live around the corner from this place and it is a diamond in the rough. I think people who post poorly about this place forget that it is completely surrounded with pretentious clubs and lounges selling aluminum bottles of bud light for $8. Getting a Bell's Two Hearted for $6 is a steal in comparison. They will always have a beer on cask, which changes routinely. The selection is mostly area breweries, which is totally fine by me, I don't need my bar to bring in Mikkeller on draft to say they have a good selection. Though they will usually have 1 or 2 fairly off hand beers.
I am a huge believer in bars that have no pretense and simply just sling good beer. This is one of those bars, and for anyone claiming it is a cheezy italian steakhouse vibe, check out any other italian steakhouse in the area and see if they allow dogs. The let you bring in your own food, which is awesome, if you want a true Chicago experience, go to Al's Italian Beef or Portillo's down the street and bring your food in for a good beer.
There are typically some regulars sitting at the front corner of the bar that are friendly and quick to give tips on the area if you need it.
Overall, this is one of Chicago's finest bars, and it is especially great if you are in town for business and need a place to go when you're downtown.
08-16-2010 13:46:48 |
More by onefmatt
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 1.5 | $
This had decent BA reviews then I recently say it in the all about beer traveler issue ranked as the 52nd bar you have to go to, so I finally made the trip over. Two words and two phrases for you all, OVER-RATED and AVOID IT.
This place was beyond disappointing. The atmosphere was horrible, unless you are an old school Chicagoan who finds the cheesy mafia style Italian steakhouses appealing. Its old inside, little charm at all, all wood, then somehow think its the right place for video games such as golden tee. The staff are all in ugly black outfits, just terrible. Staff is not terrible friendly or knowledgeable. I asked what's tasting good guy and the guy just started at me.
The quality and selection are garbage. Yes, they do have several craft breweries represented but they are alongside Miller, Bud light and corona. The beers from the breweries are terrible. They are all easy to find regular local staples. They aren't bad beers but nothing I can't go to the local store and get. If I was from out of town, maybe it would be ok for 2 seconds.
I get the feeling this place is more for whiskey and vodka as they have great lists for both. If you want liquour you might give this place a shot, if not avoid at all costs as with so many better options in Chicago are are surely wasting your time.
06-26-2010 14:16:00 |
More by jrallen34
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Popped in while in town for my organizations Annual Meeting.
A: My kind of place. Long and narrow with local and national brewerania adorning the walls. A few locals hanging with the bartender before the black hawks game. Juke box blasting old skool gangsta rap (NWA, Ice-T, etc..) and hardcore (Black Flag, Dead Boys, Circle Jerks) whats not to like about that ! 2 flat screen TVs were it. Just a really cool and local vibe.
S: Bartender was very cool, tentative and knowledgable. Made some nice recommendations when asked about local beers on tap. Kept my glass full at all times.
Sel: Nice variety on tap and bottle. About 20 beers on tap with locals Half Acre, Two Brothers and Metropolitan and nationals like DFH and Allagash. Started with a 3 Floyds Alpha King and then hit locals.
All beers priced nicely !
Highly recommended if in downtown Chicago.
06-08-2010 20:59:23 |
More by SwillBilly
Clark Street Ale House in Chicago, IL
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