J. Patrick's has all the earmarks of the familiar, neighborhood haunt. It is a corner pub on a residential street with the unmistakable decor of the modern Irish-American watering hole. Dark wood and exposed brick, shamrock Budweiser signs and hints of kelly green wrapped in sturdy old Chicago architecture.
When you belly up to the bar you quickly realize that this is a repeat-visit kind of place. Almost everyone who walks through the door gets a first-name greeting. Bartenders are razzed and comfortable silences are respected. It has a fraternal feel of regularity.
The fare is hearty, mixing basic American and bits of Irish grub. Fill up on food like Angus burgers and bangers and mash. The prices are standard (averaging $7-$11), and the beer selection is solid.
Solid actually seems to be the word that best sums up J. Patrick's. The decor and ambiance are things we've all seen a thousand times, and the flat screens, darts and Golden Tee only reinforce the experience. But while the vibe may be cliche, everything's done well; the food is above average and the Guinness is poured slowly. Plus, it's always a good sign if there’s a healthy group of regulars. It means it's a place where you can go for no other reason than to go.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jesse Jordan