Drink of the week:
photo: courtesy of Clifton Henri
A bottle of Bud Light at Gamekeepers
, 345 W. Armitage, on a Tuesday night.
The damage: $2.
Thousands of bars in Chicago, why this one? Unless you count cheerleading, dance classes and one semester of Tae Kwon Do during my senior year of college, my foray into team sports has been limited. Sure, I bike and run frequently, but those don't require much more than a pair of legs and a set of lungs. Volleyball, on the other hand, takes finesse, athleticism and depth perception—three skills I've come to learn I lack. Still, when some friends of mine formed a nine-person beginner v-ball team to play at North Avenue Beach every Tuesday, I wanted to get in on the action. And by action, I mean the post-game drinking.
How it went down: After winning our first set of games, thanks in part to the ball bouncing off my shoulder and miraculously soaring over the net, we wanted to celebrate with a victory brew or two. Though the organization that runs the games hands out coupons for post-play pitchers of beer at a few different pubs, we chose to head to Gamekeeper's instead, where the beer would be just as cheap, the crowd would be less sweaty and the dinner of champions would set us back just slightly more than $2.
Every Tuesday, Gamekeepers sells a half-pound Angus burger for $2, with cheese and fries adding on a mere .51 cents (cheese costs a penny!). We held up our ice-cold Miller Lite to salute our win while Jane's Addiction's "Jane Says" played overhead and a seemingly endless display of TVs flickered with sports. Patiently awaiting our burgers, we downed the first round like it was Gatorade and promptly ordered more. Maybe it was the lack of hydration or maybe it was the cheap price tag, but Miller Lite had never tasted as refreshing or flavorful as it did then.
Would I want to become a regular? While I may never appreciate Gamekeepers for the same reason many bargoers do—its 4 a.m. liquor license—my team and I can't think of a better post-game spot. Not only are the burgers cheap, they're also good—thick, dripping with the cheese of your choice and served with crisp, battered fries. Our team can walk out with a bill no larger than $30, which makes us feel like winners no matter what the game's outcome. And, if we continue being this frugal all season, we might just have enough cash leftover come August to get our trophies engraved—or for lessons before next year.
Dana Kavan scours the city for drink deals so good you'll offer to buy a round and creative libations that outshine your average on-the-rocks concoctions. Want to give Dana tips on where to rack up a bar tab? Share your finds before her next night out.