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Yes, John Barleycorn is #1
April 17, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

And now, the 25 Douchiest Bars in Chicago.

...and as a counterpoint, the 26 least douchey bars in Chicago.

Also, the 25 Douchiest Bars in NYC and the 25 Douchiest Bars in Los Angeles.
posted by TheWhiteSkull (114 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Chicago Mefites could have a meetup a week for the next year and report back.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:49 AM on April 17, 2012


AHAHAHAHA the Skylark made the second list. Which is funny, see, because if my experience there is any indicator, they'll be on the list of "25 Most Insufferably Hipster Bars" in no time.

(my brother goes there)
posted by Madamina at 9:53 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay, my favorite Chicago bar, The Whirlaway, made the list of 26 least douchey bars. If you're in Logan Square, go in and say hi to Maria, the wonderful ownder/bartender.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 9:54 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


owner, not ownder. mea culpa.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 9:55 AM on April 17, 2012


No one splitting items into one-paragraph per page "galleries" has any business declaring anything douchey.
posted by beschizza at 10:03 AM on April 17, 2012 [83 favorites]


"The dank, the dank!"
posted by Fizz at 10:04 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the Chicago Cabal* has, collectively, visited pretty much every bar on both lists. We had a supplemental HEY MIKO meetup at the Ten Cat (on the non-douche list) last year.

*TINCC
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:07 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


AHAHAHAHA the Skylark made the second list. Which is funny, see, because if my experience there is any indicator, they'll be on the list of "25 Most Insufferably Hipster Bars" in no time.

Really??? Have you even tried their tater tots?!
posted by SounderCoo at 10:07 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've only been to 3 or 4 of these, but they totally qualify for inclusion. I can't really argue with #1 (I seem to remember that place kicking my friends and I out because we weren't drinking fast enough? Or weren't dressed douchebaggy enough? I'm not clear. But they didn't want us there.) Smart Bar would be my only quibble as there's sometimes decent acts there.

I'm glad to see the neighborhood bar that's a 3 minute walk from my place is in the "least douchiest" list.
posted by naju at 10:08 AM on April 17, 2012


I realized a long time ago that the coolness of a given area is an inverse function of how many baseball caps are in it per square meter.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:11 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Dude seems to hate soccer fans. Is that a new douche-indicator? Because I don't want to have to choose between popped collars and pointless arguments about 4-4-2 vs 3-5-2.

I just don't.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:11 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are good soccer bars in Chicago- just not on that list.

Also, 4-3-3.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:16 AM on April 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm a little amazed that anyone other than me has ever even heard of, much less been to, the Lighthouse. It always seemed like the clientele consisted exclusively of two people who lived upstairs when I used to live around there.
posted by enn at 10:18 AM on April 17, 2012


Gold: "This dirty basement dive bar somehow has a five-dollar cover, but makes up for that be being the type of place you expect to leave with a stab wound."
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:18 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


/chugs beer, breaks bottle.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:19 AM on April 17, 2012


Cubby Bear isn't all bad. I saw Joe Gruschecky play there.

Also, 3-6-1.
posted by stargell at 10:27 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


This kind of self appointed social judgement link bait makes my knuckles itch.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 10:30 AM on April 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


If judging Wrigleyville bars is wrong I don't want to be right.
posted by enn at 10:34 AM on April 17, 2012


Man, I really miss the Crash Palace.
posted by NoMich at 10:36 AM on April 17, 2012


AHAHAHAHA the Skylark made the second list. Which is funny, see, because if my experience there is any indicator, they'll be on the list of "25 Most Insufferably Hipster Bars" in no time.

Because it has a photo booth, reasonably priced drinks and the nicest bartender I've ever met? So be it.

When I lived there, I had a friend involved with Improv Olympics, which is right there next to John Barleycorn and all of that horror. My experience trying to go see some comedy while the Cubs were "playing" was enough evidence for me that this list is accurate. Also, the train ride home. The train ride home.
posted by cmoj at 10:36 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


This seems unnecessary. If I walk into a bar and see more than one television turned to sports, I turn around and leave. It's made all the difference.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:39 AM on April 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can we start a DC list? Here we go: McFadden's, Sign of the Whale, any bar in Clarendon that isn't Iota or Galaxy Hut, Marvin, Local 16, Grand Central, Public, Lost Society, Public, Wonderland.

Actually, you should all GO TO THOSE BARS and stay the hell away from ChurchKey so that there's room for me to get a seat...
posted by schmod at 10:43 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Madamina: "the Skylark"

Wow. It's literally impossible for me to read the name of that bar without hearing Marisa Tomei's voice say it aloud in my head...
posted by schmod at 10:57 AM on April 17, 2012


Yeah I'm confused why the list of douchiest bars isn't just a link to Google Maps zoomed in on the four blocks immediately surrounding Wrigley Field.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:58 AM on April 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


I loved the description "pirate-themed UFC venue".
posted by Theta States at 10:59 AM on April 17, 2012


I love how both the Chicago and NYC lists start with McFadden's... and then schmod's first example for a list for DC (I would love them to do a DC list too!) is McFadden's.

Makes me wonder, is there no McFadden's in LA?
posted by tittergrrl at 11:00 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want a useful bar guide,check out the Reader's. They need to make an app.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:01 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I walk into a bar and see more than one television turned to sports, I turn around and leave. It

Yep, that clears up a lot. I would also say don't go into any place that is a franchise. Those two things will keep you safe from about 3/4 of the douche crowd. Also keep in mind that DJs are not always a bad thing, but if they're trying to "get the party staaaaaarted" then you could take a pass on that place.

I like to run an offensive game so 9 - 1
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:02 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have you even tried their tater tots?!

Tater tots are the new Belgian fries.

Can we start a DC list? Here we go: McFadden's, Sign of the Whale, any bar in Clarendon that isn't Iota or Galaxy Hut, Marvin, Local 16, Grand Central, Public, Lost Society, Public, Wonderland.

I don't think it's fair to list out Clarendon bars individually. "Clarendon" should just be a single entry.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:15 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah I'm confused why the list of douchiest bars isn't just a link to Google Maps zoomed in on the four blocks immediately surrounding Wrigley Field.

Replace "Wrigley Field" with either Fenway or The Garden and this works pretty well for Boston too. I imagine it's true in most cities?
posted by maryr at 11:21 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised at the least douchey doesn't include places like The Office, Aviary, and The Whistler. Violet Hour and those totally awesome chairs (and even better cocktails.) What about Maude's?! Maude's will leave a bottle of whiskey at your table and let you keep track of how many $3 shots you've taken. And their escargot is so delicious

I'll be interested to see what happens with Paul McGee's new tiki bar.. cause as much as I love Foundation in Milwaukee, I have a hard time seeing a tiki bar in a non-bro / non-punk manner, and I have a hard time believing sugar drinks will be making a comeback. But it's Paul fucking McGee, so...

I have yet to be at Rainbo at night, but in the late afternoon it's wonderful. Nice bartenders, stiff pours, good music, and dirt cheap.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 11:23 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's hard to walk into a bar in Chicago where there isn't a tv turned to sports. Even good comfortable "nondouchey" bars in Chicago have a tv turned to sports. Hell, some expensive, artisan-cocktail-serving bars in Chicago have a tv turned to sports. It's odd but it's never been too much of a problem for me--who'd rather never live anywhere else and has never followed a sporting event, ever.

The bar between my (near enough to Wrigley to hurt but not near enough to Wrigley to actually encounter Cubs-games-goers) house and the bus stop is on neither of these lists. It usually has sports on the tv, and no beer that I (with a very limited range of porters that I will drink, when it comes to beer) drink. But huge cheap Manhattans, decent pub food, free popcorn and a big fireplace. Also, the sound is never loud on the tv and no-one ever plays the juke box and they grow the herbs for their food in the garden out front.

But, if we don't feel like going there, there's at least a dozen other bars within stumbling distance. One of them is this hideously dank looking place from outside, wedged between a couple high-energy gay discos with noise & crowds spilling onto the sidewalk, where the bartenders actually crack open an egg and whip the egg white for your whiskey sour right in front of you. No powdered egg white in a carton ever. Plus the ginger manhattan is as big as your face. What a total gem that place is. As long as it's not open-mike night.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:26 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, both these lists are pretty spot on, only I don't think there's a list long enough to contain all the douche bars in Chicago. I'd add the Red Lion to the least douchey list, too.
posted by Jess the Mess at 11:28 AM on April 17, 2012


One of the better places for a beer & food in my neighborhood has teevees-turned-to-sports at EVERY GODDAM TABLE but pretty quickly we figured out Hey, you can turn the fucking thing off! and they don't yell at you, and now it's great.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:30 AM on April 17, 2012


I sometimes hang at a bar that is so cool it doesn't even have a sign. It's great, and it's decidedly non-douchey. There are actually two bars like this near me; I discovered the second just a couple of weeks ago after having lived here for seven years.

I live a short walk from Wrigley Field, and I'm now wondering if the lack of signage has anything to do with keeping exactly that element at bay... Wrigleyville can get downright scary during baseball season, especially during the crosstown classic bullshit, when the Cubs play the Sox. Ugh. Come for the baseball, stay for the knife-fights. (There's also a "gym" nearby that has no sign as well. This is all very interesting, now that I'm thinking about it in relation to Wrigley Field.)
posted by heyho at 11:31 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I disagree about SmartBar. That place is an institution for quality dance music. Granted I usually go mid week, but it's not at all pretentious.
posted by hyperizer at 11:32 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a glaring omission here, possibly two, and they are both less than two blocks away from #23 (Mad River, whos doucheyness I wish this word/concept a very swift and painful death is not in dispute).
#23.5= The Kirkwood (a.k.a. the Jerkwood).
#1.5 Uncle Fatty's Rum Resort Indoor sand volleyball. End of story.
posted by obscurator at 11:33 AM on April 17, 2012


If I walk into a bar and see more than one television turned to sports, I turn around and leave.

That rule of thumb's never ruined my night. I'm tempted to write here "any televisions" but a small television turned down low or muted isn't always a bad thing.

Shame about the list, though. "John Barleycorn" is a great name for a bar.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:34 AM on April 17, 2012


I totally agree about SmartBar, hyperizer, although I also haven't been on a weekend in a looooooong time.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:35 AM on April 17, 2012


I'm surprised Rainbo didn't make either list, Skylark, their sister bar is ok. But anyone can throw a bag of frozen tots into a deep fryer, stop kidding yourself.

Also surprised Riptide isn't on either list, or the triple A, Tumen's which just sucks now.

And speaking of dank, The Inner Town used to be great, shot and a beer for a goddamned dollar and a quarter, now? Meh.
posted by Max Power at 11:35 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one splitting items into one-paragraph per page "galleries" has any business declaring anything douchey.

I thought the Ashley Judd thread beat down this logic. So ad hominem dismissals are cool again?
posted by LordSludge at 11:35 AM on April 17, 2012


I've been to Mother's, but before it was douchey.

I think that I can see Fado's from inside one of my favorite bars.
posted by goethean at 11:36 AM on April 17, 2012


I'm so glad I'm not within walking distance of Marie's Riptide anymore. My liver has never felt better.
posted by heyho at 11:37 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I amend my rule: a pass if every television in the bar is tuned to a dead channel.)
posted by octobersurprise at 11:40 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's fair to list out Clarendon bars individually. "Clarendon" should just be a single entry.

I used to work next to a guy who told me repeatedly that, "Clarendon is money, son!" right before he told a series of stories about bad strip clubs he'd been to in Maryland. I quickly began to suspect that Clarendon might not be all that money, son.
posted by Copronymus at 11:47 AM on April 17, 2012


Eighteen years later (18! Years!), I am still so very pissed off that the original John Barleycorn's on Belden & Lincoln sold out and became so. very. douchy. Spent many a great evening playing Cricket (darts) there and drinking Guinness. Then it became Trixie & Biff central. Bleh.
posted by jeanmari at 11:48 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


At Delilah's on my birthday one year the televisions upstairs and downstairs were tuned to intermittently-naked-1970s-Iggy-Pop doing his thing. I didn't hate that at all. All Iggy, all night. Sometimes televisions don't suck is all I'm saying.

It's when they play tv on the tvs that everything starts sliding downhill.
posted by heyho at 11:49 AM on April 17, 2012


Is this the thread where it's cool to hate Chicago? Excellent, because I do really hate Chicago.

That said, this list and all bullshit SEO chum like it blows chunks.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:55 AM on April 17, 2012


I love Chicago! What is there to hate about Chicago? (Except for the weather in February?)
posted by jeanmari at 11:56 AM on April 17, 2012


I'm from Detroit. I hate most things about Chicago, though yeah, the weather is one of the biggest. The segregation/suburbanization is probably next. And the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, and Cubs are high on the list too.

I've been there several times (again, grew up in Midwest) and I just hate pretty much everything about it. Sorry. I know it's irrational.

Based on the FPP, I figured this was the thread to spout irrational hate.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:05 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, this post is good for like 500 pageviews per person since they are all one-per-page.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:12 PM on April 17, 2012


SEO bullshit aside, I have to agree 100% with Joshua Tree being tops in NYC. I used to live right down the street from there, starting at before they put all those bars on that strip of 3rd Ave. When Tonic East moved in, that neighborhood became completely fucking unbearable.

I was right between the both of them, and my bedroom window faced the avenue. I could never sleep on nights when people were out, guys in vertically striped shirts (IDBs we called 'em: Investment Dudebros) and the girls that loved them shouting "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" every few minutes.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:19 PM on April 17, 2012


My favorite Wrigleyville/Lakeview bar is on neither list, which suits me and the other patrons just fine, thankyouverymuch. It's even close enough to Wrigley that you can see the stadium from the front window. My attachment to this bar is so great that I still consider it my local even though I haven't lived in Chicago in nearly twelve years.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:19 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not sure I trust a list of Chicago douchey bars that doesn't include the Hangge Uppe.
posted by hwyengr at 12:26 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm with stargell. I saw Government Issue at Cubby Bear, so I can't hate on it. Never went there other than for shows though. I find almost every bar douchey unless I happen to get along with the staff.
posted by drowsy at 12:27 PM on April 17, 2012


Everyone talking their favorite bar without names/locations is a big jerky jerk. This goes double if you don't even live here anymore.

My favorite: O'Shaughnessy's on Ravenswood. There are TVs, but they're muted (maybe? Can't say I've ever heard them), good beer, good food, and it's right around the corner. What's not to like.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:27 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Replace "Wrigley Field" with either Fenway or The Garden and this works pretty well for Boston too. I imagine it's true in most cities?

Not so fast. You forgot to mention the lovely strip of bars that runs from Dillon's to Back Bay Douche Club and Daisy's plus Abe & Louie's for the older douche who can afford his own leased Escalade. And shame on your for not having called out the entire entertainment complex and birthplace of our Revolution: Faneuil Hall.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:33 PM on April 17, 2012


Fair enough. Joshua Tree is plenty douchesque and quite far from The Garden. I guess it's more that the bars within spitting distance of sports stadiums have a high probability for being full of douches, not that they exclude other areas from hosting spots of douchebaggery.
posted by maryr at 12:38 PM on April 17, 2012


I think the Chicago Cabal* has, collectively, visited pretty much every bar on both lists.

Here's my seven:

McFadden's: Had a Blue Moon here with my Mom, who was visiting the neighborhood. Probably would have passed the place up if I'd known that the Zebra Lounge was hiding two doors up.
Mad River: For a friend's birthday party. I learned to dislike Jägermeister here. (Thanks, aggressive beverage rep!)
Schoolyard: As the writer grudgingly admits, this one actually does have a bit of a neighborhood feeling. I played a few games of shuffleboard here back when a friend lived in the area.
Fado: My closest options for pub trivia. They have a three-hour "happy hour" promotion for appetizers that knocks the food price into the range of common decency, and the Guiness pour is more than decent.
The Cubby Bear: I attended a Chicago Reader book swap here once. Came away with a choice collection of Royko columns, a Jack Vance novel, and an anthology of Quaker writings.
Angels & Kings: No longer exists at that location. The venue is now the (above ground) home of the Underground Wonder Bar, a folk/jazz/blues/rock/Janis Joplin tribute club. Doesn't really pull in the bro-lement these days.
John Barleycorn: Ducked in to use the bathroom on my way back home from the old Red Lion.

*TINCC
posted by Iridic at 12:46 PM on April 17, 2012


Can we start a DC list?

DC used to have the best clubs in the country, but they all got torn down for the Stadium. The only clubs worth going to now are U Street Music Hall and the 18th Street Lounge...

My list for douchebag clubs in dc:-- Lima, Fur, Ibiza and Ultrabar.
posted by empath at 1:01 PM on April 17, 2012


Actually, you should all GO TO THOSE BARS and stay the hell away from ChurchKey so that there's room for me to get a seat...

Wait, ChurchKey has seats? I thought it was a performance art experiment on the scale of Synecdoche, NY, with full-time actors filling up a room across which you can see (but never reach) delicious, delicious beers.
posted by psoas at 1:02 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry, adamdschneider, several earlier drafts of that comment mentioned Joe's on the corner of Broadway and Addison. Nothing special about the place other than the fact that there is nothing special about the place and the bartender was always attentive and liked what he was doing. The BOGO for draft beers after you put in a few hours was also a nice touch.
posted by Fezboy! at 1:08 PM on April 17, 2012


I keep looking for significance that this post came right after the one about Shia LaBeouf.

Also, 2-2-2-2-2. Just because my dad tried and failed to get my youth soccer team to try it back in the 70s, and I'd be curious as to how much of a trainwreck it'd be.
posted by Foosnark at 1:10 PM on April 17, 2012


To the lost.
posted by mzanatta at 1:16 PM on April 17, 2012


Wait, I occasionally go to a place that has a half-dozen big screen TVs, but they are all:

a) muted; and
b) showing Flintstones episodes with the closed captioning on.

Should I be shunning the place?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:17 PM on April 17, 2012


Ooh, I can hardly wait for the San Francisco version. But can we please retire "douchebag/douche/douchey" and replace with "Juicebox/juice/juicey?" Thanks.
posted by smirkette at 1:18 PM on April 17, 2012


I drink and sort of DJ at Bar None Monday afternoons and stop by for the occasional afterwork boilermaker. There's nice people there and the drinks are cheap. Whatever.
posted by jonmc at 1:21 PM on April 17, 2012


It is literally impossible for a "cool bar" to open in DC and not become insufferable within 6 weeks.
posted by stratastar at 1:29 PM on April 17, 2012


adamdschneider: O'Shaughnessy's on Ravenswood

Well, we've had service there that wasn't so great. We needed to cancel an order, but our waitress told us that once she'd entered it into the computer there was nothing she could do. The table next to us was happy to take the curry fries off our hands, though. Plus, I can't go there without feeling nostalgic about Zephyr's.

special agent conrad uno: I have a hard time seeing a tiki bar in a non-bro / non-punk manner

Here you go. (The review by Dean is an unwitting endorsement for me.)
posted by hydrophonic at 1:47 PM on April 17, 2012


I totally agree about SmartBar, hyperizer, although I also haven't been on a weekend in a looooooong time.

I object to the inclusion of Smartbar as well (as has everyone I know that's ever been there on a good or even average night), and kind of get the feeling that whoever wrote this either did all their research on Yelp, or spent about 5 minutes in/around each place.

Of course, I help run a monthly party at Smartbar, and was there three nights in a row last weekend (not uncommon for me) and so I feel like I have to recuse myself as a clearly biased observer.
posted by sparkletone at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2012


Regarding the Cubby Bear: I mentioned that place to a friend of mine that's lived here for much much longer than I have. They told me the place was awful, but they had a soft spot for it because they went to their first show there... Lords Of Acid. At the Cubby Bear. Wat.
posted by sparkletone at 1:49 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and before I forget:

RIP CAFE BONG. NEVER FORGET.
posted by sparkletone at 1:52 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


(dons Ed Hardy T-shirt, heads to these great booze barns with my buddy, DuPont J. Shebagge)
posted by porn in the woods at 1:54 PM on April 17, 2012


I have a hard time seeing a tiki bar in a non-bro / non-punk manner

I miss Ciral's House of Tiki


Also surprised Riptide isn't on either list, or the triple A, Tumen's which just sucks now.

RIP old Tuman's. Also, RIP the Hiawatha/Pizza Lounge.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:54 PM on April 17, 2012


Every bar is someone's favorite bar, and someone else's douchiest bar ever.
posted by mollymayhem at 1:57 PM on April 17, 2012


Oh, I'll never say it's the best bar, hydrophonic, but it's just so convenient for me and could be so, so much worse for a corner bar. I am in love with the corned beef press.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:57 PM on April 17, 2012


Every bar is someone's favorite bar, and someone else's douchiest bar ever.

Obligatory Community clip.
posted by sparkletone at 1:59 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


4-4-2
posted by ersatz at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2012


RIP CAFE BONG. NEVER FORGET.

What!? Did it close?
posted by enn at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2012


Sorry, I typed 'four-two-three-one' but I've got a British IP.
posted by ersatz at 2:07 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


EVERYone has had at least one good night at the Cubby Bear, even though it is the most awful bar ever. It's been there since the 80's, right? A really random selection of bands have played there.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:10 PM on April 17, 2012


It is literally impossible for a "cool bar" to open in DC and not become insufferable within 6 weeks.

Counterpoints: Nation, Tracks, 18th Street Lounge, Jimmy Valentines, U St Music Hall.
posted by empath at 2:17 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm late to the game here, but I coach kids' soccer, so 3-0-2
posted by phong3d at 2:25 PM on April 17, 2012


What!? Did it close?

Alas.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:26 PM on April 17, 2012


What!? Did it close?

Something about a dispute with the landlord that led to it closing recently. Not sure of the details. Other Chicago Mefites would know.

(cue dark ritual necessary to summon eamondaly and/or his beard.)
posted by sparkletone at 2:27 PM on April 17, 2012


In the non-douchey list, it took me a full second to realize that by the "Woodlawn Tap," they actually meant Jimmy's. Seriously, who calls it the Woodlawn Tap?

Even more seriously: Who puts Jimmy's on a list of the non-douchiest bars? Is it just because the beer selection is crap, there are only two kinds of wine (red, white), and it still smells like smoke after God knows how many years sans cigarettes?

I mean, I love me some Jimmy's. But if I walk into a bar and instantly hear an argument about Hegel and authenticity happening to my left, and vegan locavore politics to my right, I do not automatically think, "Oh good, I'm out of the douche zone."
posted by artemisia at 2:38 PM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Since when is having a crappy beer selection evidence of non-douchiness? Maybe we have a different definition of douchy.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:48 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm late to the game here, but I coach kids' soccer, so 3-0-2

Depending on how old, it's probably more like -5-

We used to watch NFL games at the Cubby Bear because they had every game on satellite. One afternoon a pal of mine struck up a friendly conversation with another guy because they were both Raiders fans. I turned to order beers, and by the time I turned back around they were throwing punches at each other.

There was a Japanese place under the El at Clark and Roscoe years ago run by a Nisei guy who had been born in a relocation camp in California. We used to go there for mackeral and edamame and watch Bulls games. Long gone now. Looks like it's a bar catering to Alabama football fans. And the Nisei Lounge up the street used to be owned and run and patronized by actual Nisei. I was really disappointed when I went back there a few years ago and it was just another Wrigleyville bar with pool tables.

As for Jimmy's, I doubt your Hegelians and vegan locavores douche, so by definition it would qualify as non-douchey.
posted by stargell at 3:01 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has anyone called 3-3-4? I like to score.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:02 PM on April 17, 2012


Sadly, my two examples of douchey and non-douchey bars from my Chicago era are long gone.

Douchey:
Slow Down, Life's Too Short

Non-Douchey:
Tuman's Alcohol Abuse Center

Also, weirdly enough, I saw Propaghandi play at Sluggers - go figure.

My best story of Mother's Too was a misprint of a flyer they were hanging: "Show us your thong contest and your Mother's Too"
posted by WASP-12b at 3:08 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I assume that for Complex readers, the douchiness is a selling point. Complex is easily the douchiest magazine on the rack at any given point — they make Maxim look like upstanding pillars of the community.
posted by klangklangston at 3:24 PM on April 17, 2012


It does pain me to note that I've been to more douche list than non douche list bars in Chicago. But then, I guess most of the places that I've gone drinking in Chicago aren't really bars — Schuba's, Empty Bottle, etc.
posted by klangklangston at 3:27 PM on April 17, 2012


>Since when is having a crappy beer selection evidence of non-douchiness? Maybe we have a different definition of douchy.

It's totally possible (and I propose a Mefi meetup to educate us ignorant folk. ;) To wit, I think Maude's Liquor Bar is kind of douchey, but it was mentioned up above as non-. I think my definition of non-douchey is more along the lines of Rossi's, say...
posted by artemisia at 3:45 PM on April 17, 2012


I want to move to Chicago, man it looks nice.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:06 PM on April 17, 2012


O'Shaughnessy's on Ravenswood

If that's the place I'm thinking of, I had one of the douchiest experiences of my life there. It was right after it opened around 2008 or so, so it was dead. There was only one other patron there besides our party, and apparently he was the money guy behind the business. He breaks into our conversations all night long, repeatedly reminding us about how he's going to be the next Donald Trump, and challenges me to a $1,000 cash bet ("I've got it in the car!") about the traditional dates of Munich's Oktoberfest (which he was wrong about, naturally).

After telling us his name, he added "Remember it, you'll be hearing about me in the future." But alas, I haven't the foggiest idea what it was.
posted by hwyengr at 4:11 PM on April 17, 2012


I'm thinking it was a different place, because a friend of mine got treated to pre-opening free top shelf liquor there by the owner after he and a visiting buddy accidentally pulled on the door at 10AM on a Sunday.

Still, why didn't you take the bet?!
posted by adamdschneider at 4:26 PM on April 17, 2012


God they put Jimmy's on the NON-douchiest list? I have to agree with artemisia, though I actually hate Jimmy's with the fire of a thousand sons. Shitty beer selection? check. Overpriced pitchers? check. An alarming layout that seems to be purpose built to have as few seats as possible? check. I'm a Pub man myself but even with that bias I never understood the Jimmy's love. Their pitchers are the same price as the pub and the beer quality is like 8 times lower.
posted by Carillon at 4:26 PM on April 17, 2012


Is this the thread in which we again mourn the loss of O'Rourke's?
posted by crush-onastick at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2012


Oh wait, there are no douchey bars on the South Side? Yes! We win! Take THAT Northsiders!
posted by Hop123 at 5:03 PM on April 17, 2012


Visited a bar in Osaka once that had a big projector screen on the wall playing music videos nonstop. The sound system was also playing music, but not the same music.

Music videos. Nonstop. To different music.

Needless to say it was a pretty great night.

ALSO: 0-9-1
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:22 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a set of friends who like to go to two different bars, both ostensibly soccer bars.

One is one of the most horrid, douchiest places I've ever been - the food is bad, the waitresses are dressed in their skankiest outfits, they serve watered down drinks, and the 'dj' they have is just a complete sexist asshole. Like, "if there's any ladies here, go make me a sandwich!" asshole.

The other is well lit, pleasant, the staff are nice, the food is even better, and they serve good drinks at a decent price. I wish they'd just choose the second bar and dump the first one.

And my dream soccer formation is 3.14-3.14-3.14
posted by spinifex23 at 5:40 PM on April 17, 2012


I'm so glad they mentioned Simon's as one of the non-douchiest. Man, I sure do love Simon's.
posted by Windigo at 6:50 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wait, there are no douchey bars on the South Side? Yes! We win! Take THAT Northsiders!
Uh no, I'm going to suggest that's not a positive result, but rather a ND.
To the Hyde Park dears who are hating on Jimmy's:
It's all very very very relative. My guess is that they wanted to at least acknowledge that something south of Skylark even existed, and so they picked the Hyde Park institution best represented on Yelp, or whatever. Yes, the Pub is better, but it's not public. So Jimmy's it is. What Jimmy's has going for it is not the beer list or the food, but rather that you won't be walk in there and be instantly pummeled by sound, bro-dudes hitting on you, overpriced drinks (pitchers are about equivalent to the pub, btw) and artifice. Hyde Park wise, it's just the minimum of what you'd expect, but to a northsider, it's a remarkable oasis of civility and non-douchery.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:43 PM on April 17, 2012


Yes, the Pub is better, but it's not public. So Jimmy's it is.

Unless, of course, it's The Cove.
posted by stargell at 8:56 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The writer spent way too much time hanging around Wrigley Field, which is admittedly an easy enough target for hitting douche-bars, and yet managed to overlook nearly the entire strip of bars on Lincoln Avenue from Stanley's up to where the original Muskie's used to reside by Wrightwood. This is a cardinal sin. Furthermore, any list of douche-bars that doesn't include The Burwood Tap, which used to give out a fucking BEER BONG to its customers, or Liar's Club on the weekends, is a woefully incomplete list.

Come to think of it, Liar's Club could go on both the douche and non-douche list, depending on when you'd visit. During the week, when former members of Naked Raygun are tending bar? Totally non-douche. During the weekend, when Lincoln Park students decide to go "slumming" at Liar's Club and get into fights? Yep, douchey.

(Sadly, my favorite little Wrigley Field haunt, The Gingerman, seems to be teetering on the douche/non-douche boundary after years of being formerly non-douche. This bar used to blast classical music when Cubs games would end so as to drive away the fratclones, and they never had problems with me and my friends bringing in food from Wrigleysville Dogs across the street to eat prior to a show next door at Metro. I'm pretty sure they're still OK with bringing in food, but alas, the classical blasts are no more.)
posted by stannate at 9:59 PM on April 17, 2012


Avoiding douchey bars in Amsterdam is easy:

1) no Oirish pub
2) no Dutch language music

I would add 3) no football, but 1) and 2) take care of that.

Has anyone called 3-3-4? I like to score.

Sticking to a good old English 4-4-2 and a slightly more attacking 4-3-3 have gotten Plymouth Argyle to the fourth round of the League Cup, beating Blackburn as well as the top of League 2, eight points clear of number 2, so why try anything else?

Granted, that's in FM12 not real life, but still.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:34 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I walk into a bar and see more than one television turned to sports, I turn around and leave.

Oh, sweet jeebus. Scotty's here in Muncie. It's not that there's a huge flat-screen on every possible vertical plane that could be called a wall, it's that they are all individually tuned to either some sport or FOX News. Crappy food, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:14 AM on April 18, 2012


Re: the NY list

Um, "The 13th Step" is really really really really not a classy name for a bar. That's basically sending out a Bat-Signal for assholes.
posted by davidjmcgee at 6:52 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Visited a bar in Osaka once that had a big projector screen on the wall playing music videos nonstop.

I've dj'd at a Sushi bar in DC that liked to play x-rated tentacle rape hentai videos on the tv screens in the bar after the restaurant closed. I was never sure what the appropriate soundtrack for that was.
posted by empath at 7:11 AM on April 18, 2012


Um, "The 13th Step" is really really really really not a classy name for a bar. That's basically sending out a Bat-Signal for assholes.

Martin Sexton respectfully disagrees.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:03 AM on April 18, 2012


Oh Jesus Liar's Club. Shudder.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:16 PM on April 18, 2012


This list is so far from the best of the web I can't believe it's here.
posted by me3dia at 12:57 PM on April 18, 2012


So, this may be a derail, or possibly more of a MeTa post, but -- there are an awful lot of Chicagoans in this thread who I never see in the Chicago meetup threads in IRL.

(not that I'm one to talk, as I think I've made a grand total of two meetups so far, but I am trying!)

Is there a particular reason that y'all aren't into the idea of meeting other members of the Cabal*?

*TINCC
posted by tzikeh at 9:55 PM on April 18, 2012


When I played in high school we played 0-0-10. Well, that wasn't how it was supposed to be, but nobody wanted to pass/work as a team and everyone wanted to score. The few goals we got were flukes, and we never won a game.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:51 PM on April 18, 2012


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