By naming itself for James Cagney, not a genuine Irish mobster, but an actor who played the type in the movies, Cagney's establishes itself as an Irish pub that offers its own loose interpretation of "Irish pub." The drink menu is more eclectic than you might expect, the food offerings are more sports bar/grill than you could imagine, and the prices are a bit higher than you would hope. Save for a smattering of Irish flags adorning the place, the overall vibe is more cosmopolitan than corned-beef-and-cabbage.
Blame it on the management: The crew of New York entrepreneurs behind the joint have exercised a fair amount of creative license in the operation. Thus, you'll find a drink menu that features $22 all-you-can-drink bloody Marys and bellinis as well as classic cocktails like Manhattans and sidecars rather than an extensive beer and whiskey list. As for food, there is a shepherd's pie to be had, but otherwise, wings, burgers, and appetizers like bacon-wrapped shrimp dominate. On average, drinks cost $10 and entrees will run you $13-$25, so don't expect a cheap night at the neighborhood pub.
Speaking of neighborhood, the pub's rather remote location in a strip mall on Clybourn makes it more of a destination than a stepping stone to other bars, so make sure you're content passing the evening at Cagney's before you head there.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Amanda Nyren