Deep in the heart of Boys' Town, Jacqueline's defies trend and thereby stands out as distinctly Chicago. When this neighborhood is a row of tenements, Jacqueline's will be the same. When the area is overrun by yuppies and trust-fund brats, Jacqueline's will not change. If N. Broadway is converted into factories and warehouses, Jacqueline's will remain.
While they've recently undergone a face-lift, the heart and soul of this bar is unchanged. The term "comfortable dive" might apply, but it's not really seedy enough to be called a dive. Another description might be "neighborhood bar," but to be that in this neighborhood is something that could not be accomplished by design. Jacqueline's is a neighborhood bar, however, and it caters to the working man, the artist, the raging alcoholic and the homosexual crowd simultaneously. Only here might you find a gay couple with a group of ironworkers on one side and a fraternity reunion on the other. Across the narrow aisle there is sure to be an artist, a writer, a debutante, a psychologist and a junkie.
Somehow, Jacqueline's provides an inherently comfortable atmosphere. There are certainly regulars, but on any given night there is sure to be a wide range of characters. The free-flowing nature of the bar affords this unusual fellowship, the sodality of which is undeniable. This chimera is evident nowhere more than in the jukebox, which offers everything from Honky Tonk to Techno.
A dartboard dominates the back end of the bar and a hideously comely decor covers the front. The bar itself is large and the staff is both friendly and consistent.
A great place for a great night of drinks, but not for casual socialization, Jacqueline's could become anyone's favorite bar.
Centerstage Reviewer: Adam Payne