Like the neighborhood it resides in, the Huettenbar has undergone quite a bit of change in recent years. No longer the playground of old German folks swigging beer and swaying to the sounds of oompah bands, Lincoln Square now attracts a younger crowd. Though you might still hear the sounds of German conversation in some corners of the room, you're more likely to hear a tipsy twentysomething singing along to Queen on the jukebox.
The jukebox no longer features the music of the motherland, but the beer is still here. With 10 German beers on tap and almost as many in bottles, Huettenbar is a virtual Oktoberfest year round. Draft beers are served in glass steins to a fairly nondescript crowd of neighborhood residents in their twenties, thirties and forties. Huettenbar's patrons are not a trendy bunch, and there are still plenty of German retirees around, so you can expect a lively, if not especially glamorous night, with an eclectic soundtrack. The jukebox plays an odd mix of country music, classic rock and top forty, but the volume is low enough that it won't impair conversation.
The Huettenbar is a popular stop for Lincoln Square pub crawls or an after-dinner drink. Even though the tall bar tables fill up fast, a little patience will be rewarded as seats open up frequently. Wood paneling and amber light fixtures give the room a divey feel, but a large mural and old photographs add a little charm. On warm nights, the front windows are open, creating a friendly alfresco vibe. The booth at the front is the best seat in the house, where you can relax with a cold brew in the open air.
Centerstage Reviewer: Aimee Hall