Who wants to be a millionaire? Maybe you havenít the time to attend Meredith Vieira's version of the show, but pouring inside Belford Tavern might work. At this corner bar, one patron walked in a blue-collar worker and walked out a millionaire. Two others also walked away big winners at this Lucky Lotto location in Belmont Cragin.
If cozying up to the bar scraping a handful of scratch-and-win tickets with a bicentennial fails, you'll likely find much less of a reason for dropping in. Like any neighborhood watering hole, you'll feel a bit as though youíre crashing a party where everyone knows everyone, leaving you singled out.
Miller Lite pennants, with bikini bearing beach babes, sway like Nepalese prayer flags thanks to ceiling fans that circulate a room for 65. Wood-paneled walls hide behind scores of beer advertisements and game schedules. Red, blue and mint green cafeteria-style seating holds guests over checkered linoleum. And at a long bar, visitors watch football games just as they did when they were in their 20s, on boxy 30-inch television sets.
The young, in-shape male bartender seems a tad out of place in his Ed Hardy-like tight T-shirt. His peers likely use the sometimes-seedy intersection only as a passing point when heading towards the Kennedy Expressway or the Belmont Blue Line stop seven minutes away by bus. Despite this, the mid-aged patrons donned in jerseys and jeans still dub him their hero and help him clear tables of empty fishbowl-size beer glasses.
Every day, Miller Genuine Draft on tap comes at $2 while an average import runs your tab $3. Local drunkards desire the bars' sale of bottles to go; quite popular are Gordon's vodka and extra dry gin. Candy bars at 85 cents also feed the need.
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez