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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
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vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
This place turned out to be my home away from home on a recent business trip to Chicago. Very nicely done urban pub, attracts a lot of professional types in a beer-friendly, cool atmosphere.
Lights are kept low and the dark wood-lined bar and interior make this a very cozy place just to hang and relax. Music is top-notch, ranging from album rock to jazz, but doesn't get offensive enough to mangle conversation. Good smoke management also with the ventilation.
Offerings are a good cross-section of the region, heavy on local and surrounding states with 24 taps, at least that many also bottled and one rotating cask. Full bar service, good wine selection and a great and knowledgeable staff, very professional. Highly recommended.
06-06-2004 21:38:38 |
More by assurbanipaul
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
I have been here a couple of times, there are some cool 19th century themed murals on the back walls, and lots of deep, rich wood every where else. They have 1 beer on cask, and about 20 other taps, plus a bunch of bottle options. They have quite a nice setup with a beer garden in the non-cold months. Overall quite good, but perhaps there turnover is not that high as some of their beers seem a bit stale and one was pretty assuredly infected (diacetyl up the wazoo). If you get fresh beer here it is quite good and I like the location, just off the Mag-Mile. I really like the ambiance here, though I wish that there was a no smoking section. So drag yourself this way if you are nearby. The staff has always been friendly and helpful.
03-26-2004 22:56:20 |
More by Gueuzedude
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Clark Street Ale House: One of the top beer bars in Chicago. It is in a relatively small space, which is really just one large room with a bar running along the left as you walk in. It is a good 15-minute walk North of the Loop, and not too far from North Michigan Avenue shopping.
The bar is made up of office types shortly after work, and a mixed crowd of beer geeks, locals and a few others on the weekends.
The selection is very good, heavy rotation of local micros is available with an emphasis on the Midwest. There are at least twenty taps, all of them worth your while. There is also a nice selection of bottled beers, and a beer engine for real ale. The night we were there was real ale night, so they had an even larger selection than is normal.
Well worth a stop, just a notch below The Map Room and Hop Leaf, but still an excellent beer bar for Chicago.
03-09-2004 04:01:47 |
More by jackndan
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5
Good location, good atmosphere, great beer. I highly recommend stopping in here.
A number of things impressed me here: It wasn't too smoky, yeah people were smoking but nothing like many other places, The beer selection is great, well thought out, with a commitment to local beer, 3 Bell's Taps, 3 Two Brothers taps, 2 Three Floyds taps, 2 Goose Island taps, and then an even wider selection of locals in bottles, The staff was always friendly and knowledgeable, The bartenders used appropriate glassware (a snifter was used with SN Bigfoot on tap).
It would definitely be easy to spend an evening here with no need to visit anywhere else. This is a one-stop shop for beer.
03-06-2004 18:39:55 |
More by Jables
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
So this is where the beer geeks go to have a good time. Clark St. Ale House is about as accessible as an upscale brew bar can get. There are no macros on tap which means this place has no real cash cow. It's a casual bar with much more than casual brews.
When I went -- mid-week, mid-evening -- it seemed packed with regulars. And no one was sitting around talking about beer; they were watching the game. Beer's a way of life here and you don't drink cask-conditioned Two Hearted because you know beer, you drink it because it's good.
The tap and bottle selection was large and local. Though I despise some of the breweries, their representation was warranted and appreciated. The bartenders are hospitable and want you to earnestly try the beers, but don' talk your ear off. Instead, they offer three 4 oz samplers of any taps for a total of three bucks. It's the proportional equivalent of a pint for 4 bucks (their standard tap price). I also found DFH WW Stout for only 9 dollars.
I could imagine more beers on tap, a larger seating area, less noise, but frankly, this is everything a bar should ever be. Tap choices are only a matter of taste.
01-06-2004 04:25:37 |
More by ngandhi
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $
Notes taken during a visit from July 2003.
Short walk from the hotel, although parts of the neighborhood seem dicey to me, it was all good stepping inside.
No food, no need. Stop and get yourself a bit before you come through here if you must.
Dark wood and a good large space. I was in there on a Monday evening and the place was fairly empty with an attentive bartender who knowing I was an out of towner (by the Chicago Beer Guide in my hands) set me up with a good review of what was on tap (20+ and a cask. All damn fine beers) and where to go for good beer on my trip through town.
Definate neighborhood regulars character to hte joint as people drifted in and out and talked with each other.
Good place and just what I'd want around me. (Ok.. maybe a little food)
(Update from June 2005)
Now on my Fifth visit this place continues to still be my favorite quiet place to grab a pint in the downtown loop. Still definately worth a look and my previous ratings.
12-17-2003 03:15:00 |
More by drewbage
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
Located a brisk 15 minute walk west of Daly Plaza, the Clark Street Ale House is close to being this beer lover's dream pub. Its a long, narrow, building with a nice mix of tables and seats at the bar, which runs almost the entire length of the place. Ditch the music and keep the sound off on the TV and I'd be in heaven.
22 beers on draft, all regional micros (except Guinness and Harp), and Bell's Two-Hearted ale on cask (no sparkler for those who care). When I was there, I noted selections from Bell's, Three Floyds, Sprecher, and Two Brothers, Dog Fish Head although there were more. There is a chalkboard list and a paper menu describing the beer's in more detail, and the selection rotates.
The bottled list was impressive as well, and limited almost exclusively to small micros. Anderson Valley, seven from Rogue, Dog Fish Head, Shipyard, Allagash, and seven from Bell's (including Expedition Stout, Third Coast Old Ale, Batch 6000 and the Sparkling Ale). The Bartender said they had Expedition going back over seven vintages, but that a staffer had unknowingly consolidated them all, so they were charging the same price for them all as there was no way to tell them apart.
The Bartender was extremely knowlegable and friendly. We had a rather long discussion about the various beers on offer, homebrewing and other great bars in Chicago. I was there early, and it was not yet very crowded, however. Proper glassware was used for each of the beers I sampled.
Prices are outrageously cheap, particularly for downtown Chicago. An imperial pint of cask 2 Hearted was $4, and bottles of Bell's Batch 6000 were $5. Highly recommended. Need more? They also have a great selection of small batch and single barrel bourbons and single malt scotches (including independent bottlings) for equally reasonable prices.
11-17-2003 15:55:06 |
More by Realale
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4
This is the place for regional beers in Chicago. About 20 beers on tap with regional breweries Kalamazoo, Sprecher, Two Brothers, Great Lakes, and others represented. Better regional selection than The Map Room. When I was there they had Bell's Two Hearted on cask --- very delicious. They also had some others on tap and in bottles like DFH, Sierra Nevada and even Allagash and Shipyard from Maine (JohnnyP would be happy here). Service was great -although the place was not that crowded. The display case at the end of the bar seemed out of place and a waste of space though. Close to downtown area, so if you're traveling and staying downtown this place is not to be missed. And don't forget to check out the Rock 'n Roll McDonalds just a few blocks away.
10-22-2003 20:02:16 |
More by Longstaff
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Wandered into this pub my first night in Chicago. The street it's on is a little darker and less active than the area around it. We almost didnt venture down to this pub. Glad we did. They had the Bell's 2 hearted on cask and it was wonderful. The outside beer garden is especially enjoyable in the hot CHicago summer nights.
The selection was very good (with an excellent selection of whiskey as well). All the usual kalamazoo brewery favorites, as well as some dogfish head, allagash, etc.
The prices were great as well. And the bartender was great to chat with.
08-06-2003 15:14:41 |
More by DrunkenPanther
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
On my first visit to Chi-town, I stumbled into this great little pub. I noticed the tap selection and noticed that Bells Two Hearted Ale was on cask. It was then that I decided to make this place my ending spot of the night. The crowd was decent and not very busy for Thursday night. Their selection was a good variety of mid west and west coast brews. I also had the most peculiar yet delicious draft there called a "Blue-Gash". It is a cross between Blueberry Ale and Allagash White. They complemented each other just right. So if you are in the miracle mile neighborhood and need a good pint, Clark Street is where its at.
08-05-2003 17:31:08 |
More by grainger5
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Clark Street Ale House in Chicago, IL