Drink of the week:
A pint of Rogue Dead Guy Ale at Riverview Tavern
, 1958 W. Roscoe, on a Friday night.
The damage: $4, the beer of the month special rate discounted from $4.50 (hey, if you drink a few, that 50 cents adds up).
Thousands of bars in Chicago, why this one? When I hit up a bar, it's usually because I crave the loud music, the people watching and, of course, the drinks. But for those nights when I want the bar without the bar scene, a place like Riverview fits perfectly. On this particular evening, my friends and I had been sipping margaritas and Modelo in a backyard from dusk until nearly midnight, when we decided to go to a bar. We wanted a place where we could sit down and continue reminiscing about our college escapades without having to shout over Fergie. In addition to a massive space and ample booth seating, Riverview offers all the benefits of a bar: namely, alcohol and someone to pour it. After grabbing a round, we descended on the vacant foosball table and video games like kids let loose at Chuck E. Cheese.
How it went down: Call me a cynic (I like to think of myself as a realist), but when bars boast beer-of-the-month specials, I always assume it's their way of unloading brews that no one orders or appeasing their distributors. Wouldn't it be nice if they actually picked a beer because of its merits? Turns out, I'm half-right: Riverview selects the beer of the month after talking to brand representatives and working out a deal, but Rogue Dead Guy Ale isn't hurtin' for fans. Plenty of people savor its deep, rich flavor and smooth finish on a regular basis.
The amber suds taste slightly sweet with hints of honey, and I swear the flavor intensifies when the ale's poured into its proper, matching glass. The scruffy, dark cowboy icon raised his mug toward me, asking, "So you want a revolution?" Nah, I just wanted another.
Would I want to become a regular? A place this large (I counted at least three rooms) will certainly come in handy should I ever amass an entourage or get sick of standing at the Village Tap. The menu offers mostly bar fare like burgers and salads, but I've heard ordering a pie from the nearby Robey Pizza Company, which has the same owners as Riverview, is the way to go. Colorful, retro posters depicting scenes from theme parks line the walls and lend a family-friendly feel. If there ever were a bar where you could bring a toddler, this would be it. Maybe my Chuck E. Cheese comparison wasn't such a stretch after all.
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.