Stepping inside Lizzie McNeill's is like taking a step back to the Ireland of yore – only with drink specials and flat-screen TVs. The owners of the self-proclaimed Only Irish Pub On the Chicago River have neglected no detail when it comes to recreating an authentic Irish watering hole. From the rustic wooden benches to the wrought iron tables to the old-fashioned street lamps that bookend the bar, it all harkens back to the Ireland of James Joyce and the potato famine.
Of course, the olde-timey atmosphere is just a facade. Lizzie McNeill's boasts every modern amenity that its clientele of urban professionals, law students and sports fans could demand. There's a Golden Tee arcade game; jukebox offering country, rock, and top 40; and, most importantly, eight wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. You can catch the game while enjoying $3 Miller Lite and $4 Budweiser American Ale pints and complimentary hot dogs and Italian beef.
Lizzie's menu may be simple - standard bar fare ranging from pizza to sandwiches to mozzarella sticks - but what it lacks in culinary complexity, it more than makes up for in setting. In the winter, cozy up on the leather sofas seated around the fireplace with a bowl of popcorn from the vintage popcorn cart. In the summer, lounge beside the river and savor a beer (312, Fat Tire, Budweiser American Ale, Goose Island and Killian's all served on tap) and the balmy Chicago summer. In between, take part in one of Lizzie McNeill's annual festivities: the summer Luau, Halfway to St. Patty's Day party, and of course, the St Patty's Day throw down are all popular. Private Parties are also welcome.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Amanda Nyren