No one could accuse the Long Room of false advertising. The room stretches endlessly, its topography changing from two-person wooden tables, to an impressive phalanx of bar stools, to large cushy booths that seat six or more. There's even an extra cubby in the back with a couple of low tables and a photo booth for immortalizing your beer-guzzling memories, as well as an airy outdoor beer garden for breezy summer nights.
On any given evening, you can find a healthy smattering of hipsters, the after-work suit crowd, college kids looking to slum it outside Lincoln Park and even a grizzled local or two. The beer menu boasts tasty microbrews both local and exotic, and the bartenders are surprisingly skilled at the art of the cocktail. Generous drink specials abound, from $2.50 Midwestern microbrews on Mondays for the thrifty connoisseur of Three Floyds and Great Lakes, to $5 Old Granddad Manhattans on Saturdays. Don't come hungry, though, unless you want to drink your dinner. The Long Room does not serve food, although several diners and fast-food joints dot the Irving Park landscape. You might also catch the tamale guy if you time your visit right.
It may have the rough edges of your neighborhood dive bar, but like that guy who spends two hours trying to make his hair look messy and attractively unkempt, you can tell that it takes a certain pride in its shabbiness. Picture a retro-chic-meets-actual-1970s-bad-taste-meets-cobwebs kind of style, and you've got a sense of the Long Room. It's easy to feel at home here, and because it sits slightly off the beaten track, you won't find the requisite sweaty, maddening crowds. Also, as it's one of the few Chicago bars that does not blast a big screen TV all night, you can actually hold a conversation and not scream "WHAT??" every other word. A true gem.
Centerstage Reviewer: Eden Robins