PBR signs have become a beacon for patrons on the hunt for a nicotine- and booze-friendly crew. And true to its own Pabst neon, Blind Robin makes a comfortable nest for said crowd. Owners of Green Eye Lounge and Lemming's stripped down the never-quite-caught-on, Hitchcockian-themed Bar Vertigo for this (thankfully) gimmick-free environment. If slightly unremarkable, the bar's hype-free character is precisely the reason a no-frills crowd flocks to this Ukrainian Village spot.
A moderate, slightly cliquey group, which fits the black-rimmed glasses, tattoos and chucks profile, hangs on weeknights, along with a few promoter-types clutching $2 PBR drafts in the back area out of respect for the late Lava Lounge (Blind Robin preserved half of this beloved nightclub by pecking through the wall). One or two weary workweek suits zoning out in front of the muted TV round out the crowd. Hollow acoustics amplify the aural ambience, so garage rock tunes softly off-set the sound of flickering lighters and friendly chatter, which covers topics ranging from home renovations to burgeoning teetotaler rants like, "I had a nightmare the only beer left in the fridge was non-alcoholic."
Like Lemming's and Green Eye, Blind Robin stocks multiple board games (this Connect Four champ remains unshakable), but its selection of beer extends far beyond, with varied imports like La Fin du Monde and Sprecher Hefe Weiss, all costing about $5. Local art checkers the light green walls; dotting each table, red candles atop glass dishes conveniently double as a poor man's lighter and ashtray. The spot is cash only and doesn't serve food, though the occasional pizza delivery box may drift through the door.
Perched on a decent people-watching strip of Western, Blind Robin provides patrons with old-fashioned entertainment via its large street side window—a bird's eye view of the action below.
Centerstage Reviewer: Libby Ramer