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in Ukrainian Village or Division on the Blue line

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Fuel Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge

View Map1725 W. Division St., Chicago
Tel: (773) 782-6034
View Website
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Editorial Review of Fuel Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge

Ambition can go a long way for a venue, or it can be its undoing. Whichever is its fate, this Ukrainian Village hangout has committed to it in spades. While the large bay windows show a DJ booth and a series of silver two-top tables and red plastic chairs, there is a full-service bar located deeper within. The bar's red-backlit shelves seem an odd match for the almost '50s flair of the tables, but the space is clearly built to suit multiple whims, not to conform to a theme.

For those who've come for the aforementioned kitchen, the menu is full of its own assortment of odd couples – appetizers include crispy crab wontons for $8, or southern fried chicken sliders for $7, or guacamole and chips for $8. Hot Thai soups can be had for $5, or a Kobe burger for $13.

But if there's any one item the menu seems to focus on, it's pizza. Baked in the neopolitan style, the crust sports the usual blackened bubbles of the style, but has a surprisingly soft crust. A Regina (with mushroom, ham, and mozzarella) will cost $9, or a Marco (with buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto ham) runs for $12. A number of $4 smoothies are available as well – choices include to green apple and green tea to kiwi-banana, served with a cherry on top for good measure.

The kitchen closes at 11, and pizzas stop at 1 – but for those who have had their fill and just need to get their drink on, the bar offers a wide selection of specialty cocktails. The Green Energy Fuel ($12) is a martini with Red Bull, Grey Goose, Peach Schnapps and Melon Liquor, while the signature Fueltini ($12) includes Ciroc vodka, espresso, and a dusting of cocoa powder.

High rollers can also strut their stuff with bottle service – your favorite bottle can be had for somewhere between $120 to $160, with mixers included but Red Bull and fresh juices charged a la carte. Or if you're just looking for a quick pick-me-up, Fuel even has coffee – a Lavazza espresso, cappuccino, or latte can be yours for $3-4. You might need the caffeine – if you find yourself a fan of the place, there’s a chance you could patronize it all night.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Dan Morgridge

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11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Sunday

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